Friday, August 27

Contemplating Queries

A few weeks ago I started keeping a list of the search engine queries that lead people to this site. Lately, the majority of searches referring here have been "olympic medal table." Last Sunday was the peak day for that particular search, with somewhere around sixty hits coming from people looking for an olympic medal table. On some search engines, I have been the number three result for that search, above the more official sites.

I still get a few hits a week from searches for "Ole and Lena jokes". If you're versed in Ole and Lena jokes, you'll know that many of them are quite naughty--blonde jokes are really just Ole and Lena jokes redone for nonscandinavians--so I wonder what the searchers think when they are directed here.

Just this morning someone came here as a result of this search: "HOW DO I KNOW WHEN A CHURCH IS TOO LEGALISTIC". That one puzzled me, because I can't remember ever writing anything at all about legalism and churches. That's right up there in my list of topics I'm just not very interested in, along with the emerging church and thumb twiddling. The article referred to as a result of that query was Everything I Know About Parenting I Learned From The Mennonites. I haven't figured out yet exactly what that piece has to do with legalism, unless loving your babies is legalistic.

The strangest recent search was for "mess". What is someone looking for when they type "mess" into a search engine? Are they thinking mess as in "mess hall"? Or mess as in the general state of my kitchen?

And what about the person who just types the letter "g" into that little search box? Why? Do they mean "g" string or "g" note or "g" whiz? My first thought was that they had started to type a word that had "g" as the initial letter and accidently hit the search button too soon, but since they were making their way down through the results they got, I can only assume that "g" was their intended search. And why in the world did google lead the "g" searcher to me? Not to a specific article, either, but to the main page?

Quite a few hits come from searches for "potty training" or "potty training advice". I've actually learned a lot from looking through the other pages that particular search refers to. Did you know there is actually a potty training web ring? Mostly what I've learned is that there is a flabbergasting number of potty training products: musical (or "tinkling") potty chairs; travel potty chairs; cushion seated potty chairs; little ladders for reaching the big toilet; potty training dolls, books, and videos; glow in the dark strips for your toilet so it can be found in the dark and accurately used " without missing and creating unwanted mess". (Is "unwanted mess" redundant? Is "mess" ever wanted? I guess it must be, since someone came here looking for it.) How did I managed to get my four trained without any purchases except new and exciting big kid underwear?

I could go on, but I won't. If you've got a blog, what searches lead to your site?