The Search Engine Oracle Speaks Again

Posted on June 8, 2011


Back in April I wrote a post about the search terms leading viewers to my site.  I continue to be fascinated by these terms as many of them feel like very, very short stories providing insight into the searcher’s life.  When someone enters ‘how to reply to a back handed compliment‘, I like to think the searcher is at work, has just received a back-handed compliment, and has rushed to her computer seeking a witty response in hopes of rushing back to the back-handed complimenter, and saying, “I’m sorry, could you say that again?”

I wrote a post about ransoming a ransom note, and search engines have been sending ransom note inquiries my way ever since.  I’ve received many variations of:

ransom – worksheet; ransom note fingerprints; ransom note font

I’ve had a few dozen ransom-related searches,and I hope none of them were real kidnappers looking for advice on how to write a ransom note, but it wouldn’t surprise me.  If you’ve ended up in the kidnapping industry, I kind of assume you aren’t a strong writer.  And even if you are a strong writer, it’s not like you practiced ransom notes in business correspondence class.  If someone really was writing a ransom letter, I hope it was only for a dognapping:

dog ransom letter; i have your dog ransom note

My post on Princess Beatrice’s Fascinator has attracted more than 700 searches.  Immediately after the post I was getting 150 extra search engine views a day, and I considered renaming the blog, but my wife convinced me to sleep on it for a week.  This is why it can be hard to judge the quality of a post based on views.  The fascinator post has received a total of 1,614 views as of today, making it one of my most-viewed posts, but it’s popularity probably has more to do with my decision to emphasize the word ‘fascinator’ instead of ‘hat’, and less to do with it being far and away better than other posts.  If you type ‘Beatrice Fascinator’ into Google or Yahoo, my post will be on the first page, and maybe even in the top 2 to 3.  Because my posts are satirical, the search engines often send viewers my way who were probably looking for something serious, but in the case of the fascinators, many searchers were in fact looking for humor:

obama in princess beatrice’s hat; obama wearing fascinators

Many people wanted to know what they would look like wearing Beatrice’s fascinator.

what would you look like wearing a facinator hat

put beatrice’s hat on my head

I don’t mind Beatrice’s fascinator, but I think the name fascinator takes the whole thing too seriously.  I find them more whimsical than fascinating and would suggest calling them Seussinators.

I’m puzzled by the following search:


Really, Google?  Books?  That’s all the information the searcher gave you, and you sent him to my site?  I wrote one post about advantages of the traditional book over the Kindle, but I have to assume I would be number 10,000 if you typed books into a search engine.  And who entered the term books?  Was he looking for recommendations of any books, regardless of genre or quality?  Or maybe he was attending a cocktail party where a girl seemed impressed by how many books another guest had read, and the searcher asked, “If books are such a big deal, how come I’ve never heard of them?” and everyone laughed at him, and he rushed home to look it up.

I still get plenty of joke searches from troublemakers:

is “good greatsby’s” favorite actor vin diesel?

the good greatsby is like a superhuman alien robot

how to get your kids to do the opposite of everything the good greatsby says?

If you are responsible for any of these three searches, please admit your guilt, especially the one about Vin Diesel.

I’m still getting lots of searches seeking advice on how to manipulate people:

how to manipulate people so they like you

My post was only about how to manipulate people into throwing you a party.  I never promised they would like you afterwards.  I can almost promise they won’t like you afterwards.

I’m especially concerned about this search:

good greatsbt

Who is this good greatsbt?  Did  good greatsbt think I wouldn’t notice if he took my name and changed it by one letter?  Watch your back, good greatsbt.

Posted in: Columns