Fascination with West Virginia drives record searches

Sampling of questions fielded at WVExp.com

Sampling of questions fielded at WVExp.com

FAYETTEVILLE, W.Va. — Developers suggest record-breaking searches for West Virginia information at WVExp.com are being fueled by former residents, potential new residents, and others who have become fascinated with the Mountain State.

More than 100,000 visitors will have used the online guide in 2016 to search more than one million pages, according to Lloyd Gibson, who launched the domain in association with West Virginia Explorer in 2004.

The increase arcs across a widely varied spectrum, notably touching on the history of small towns and obscure communities and include geologic trivia associated with the state’s scenic landscape.

“It’s fascinating to see what people are searching for,” Gibson said: “Where rivers arise, where towns are located, when railroads were established, how farmlands were developed.”

“Searches in years past were cross-references with sites in our network that concern skiing, whitewater rafting, and travel in regions such as the New River Gorge, but these inquiries are broaching topics we’ve not seen before, and we suspect it’s because interest in West Virginia is growing across the board.”

Gibson and David Sibray, a real estate agent and publisher who joined him in launching a consortium of West Virginia sites in 2002, agree many users are former residents considering a move back and potential new residents considering an escape to a rural setting.

Sibray said he’s witnessing an increase in interest in real estate throughout the Mountain State virtually and in the field.

“I can verify that a great many of the inquiries I help field as a real-estate marketer are from residents of nearby metropolitan areas who dream of escaping to the country and from former residents who are considering a move home,” he said.

The team presented a list of several of the searches, each entry of which represented less than 0.1 percent of the total million page views:

  • where does the ohio river flow from ohio into west virginia
  • what street is the mound on in south charleston
  • last buffalo killed in ohio
  • grandchildren of chief logan
  • peregrine hays house in arnoldsburg wva
  • what dam feeds elk river bomont west virginia
  • geographical features find in mountans ranges
  • highway 219 west virginia leading to caynon rim visitors center
  • source of south branch of the potomac river
  • what s the largest river in west virginia
  • how high is junp rock west virginia
  • what is the name of the island in the ohio river
  • goldtown wv how it was named
  • who owns the ohio river

The developers say they also expect traffic to increase significantly over the next few years as they further social-media integration, a massive undertaking that includes several hundred thousand pages.

Sibray, who manages advertising and customer service for the the West Virginia Explorer network, says banner advertising is being made available on the site and welcomes organizations interested in reaching the West Virginia market to contact his offices at 304-575-7390.