Searching…I mean, googling for meaning

I’m a stats junkie. Even on my personal website, which gets maybe one page view per century, I’ll check my google analytics page to find out what people were looking at and what search term they used to get there.

This blog’s stats, however, are exciting because it gets a lot of action. I can see what search term was used to reach this blog, and how many times it was used (or, alternatively, how many pages the person viewed after arriving.)

The creepy: although I’ve never used my legal name on this blog, Google knows it’s mine. It’s the first or second result to turn up if I vanity-google. But Yahoo search and other search engines have not made the same connection.

The strange: I get a lot of hits for C H U C K  N O R R I S even though the post that includes him (*the only one) doesn’t have his name in it either.

But far stranger than that are some of the bizarre search combinations that would definitely lead to a page on this blog, but not the way the searcher intended. For fun, some from the last week:

Cool things to do with a blow torch.

C h u c k  N o r r i s versus Jesus

Kitchenaid: the carrot

evil cats

zoo tycoon shower

should we have two or three kids (alternatively, “should we have four kids,” “is three kids exhausting,” and all manner of questions addressed in “Why have three kids.” I always want to ask, “Do you really think Google knows the answer to that?”)

43-sided shape name

what is the difference between a carrot (that got truncated: I assume it’s “between a carrot and a parsnip,” but really, you can complete that any way you like. “What is the difference between a carrot and a Subaru Legacy?”)

цхуцк норрис (which is, as it turns out, he-who-must-n0t-be-named, in Greek.)

kjv bible search aspeger’s examples

None of the ones from the past week have made me wish I could alert the police, although I used to get some of those. 🙁 There are some sick people out there on our search engines. And every so often, I get the one where I want to apologize, such as to the individual who searched on “what are some deep theological questions?” (Dude, not here, they’re not.)

The neat thing about these searches, though, is the tiny window they give into the needs people have, the ways we’re all different and how, in many ways, we’re the same. Our trivial questions, our big ones (“Will respecting my husband change our marriage?”) and the fact that in some ways, all of us are always searching.


  1. Amanda

    I think Google is able to pick up on the links you have in your posts. i.e., if someone would click a link where the text is “search engine” but the link is to “,” then that post will be found with the search term “google.”

    1. philangelus

      I’m pretty sure you’re right. That’s the theory behind the GoogleBomb, that if enough people were to link to (for example) my weblog with the term “incompetent blogger,” that eventually if someone were to search for an incompetent blogger, my weblog would turn up as the first hit. 🙂 It’s just scary how Google put my identity together whereas the other search engines didn’t.

  2. blueraindrop

    i still think google links together things it knows from its reader and gmail contacts on some of its leaps. i get too many “coincidence” reader suggestions with no logical blog based connections between me and them.

    sort of like facebook’s policy to suggest me adding someone because when that person let it check their email contacts, i was listed, but they chose not to add me. (gee, maybe because i was only sending them messages about an event they attended that i was leading a year ago… but google adds anyone who emails you repeatedly to a contact list?)

    still getting hits for how to rip up carpet? lol