SEO is a powerful weapon when deployed correctly. For video game websites, the idea is to answer the questions players will ask Google, such as: “what ingredients do I need to dye clothes red in Breath of the Wild?”
The author of Holocaust novel The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas recently released his new book, A Traveller at the Gates of Wisdom. Like his previous novel, John Boyne explores human history through a fictional lens. The characters aren’t real, but the events they experience are. It’s the kind of work that has a lot of research behind it.
In one passage, Boyne explains the dressmaking process, which requires a red dye. He writes, “The dyes that I used in dressmaking were composed from various ingredients, depending on the colour required, but almost all required nightshade, sapphire, keese wing, the leaves of a silent princess plant, Octorok eyeball, swift violet, thistle and hightail lizard. In addition, for the red I had used Abrila’s dress, I employed spicy pepper, the tail of the red lizalfos and four Hylian shrooms.”
These are all ingredients from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. It appears as if the author did a cursory Google search of “ingredients red dye clothes” and turned up an SEO snippet of a guide from a gaming website. Writer Dana Schwartz did the detective work in the Twitter thread below:
OKAY. This is a thread, but it’s worth it I promise.
On Reddit today, user u/NoNoNo_OhOhOh posted a page from acclaimed Irish novelist John Boyne’s latest book, ‘The Traveller At the Gates of Wisdom.
Note the ingredients. pic.twitter.com/4RTgZxtUT7
— Dana Schwartz (@DanaSchwartzzz) August 3, 2020
Boyne has since held his hands up at the mistake and laughed it off with a “my bad”, so at least he’s a good sport about it.
LOL that is actually kinda hilarious. I'm totally willing to own it. 😂🤣Something tells me I'll be telling this anecdote on stage for many years to come… 😂
— John Boyne 📚 (@john_boyne) August 3, 2020