On Search Phrases

I’d occasionally do this about once a month–pull a search log report off the server and see why people are dropping by. Honestly, it was a good way just to make a post; I didn’t have to think to have content, because you good readers gave me the content and a platform to rant, or not. 😉

Since I’d looked at this earlier in the week–hence the rant about the “Bill Leisner fan club” (a search term that, actually, didn’t even break the top thirty-five)–I thought I’d run another report and look at what people wanted to know the last few weeks. The limitation? The report I can generate only goes back to April 7th. I used to be able to get all sorts of fun stats. Not anymore. Bugger. Though I can tell you that more people use the so-called “alternative” browsers–Opera and Firefox–to access this website than use Internet Explorer. I do like that.

I should, of course, point out that famous saying of Mark Twain’s–“There are lies, damned lies, and statistics.” As stats these are meaningless–they don’t actually tell me anything. I don’t know what the person’s looking for or, rather, I don’t know why the person is looking for what they’re looking for. I don’t where the person is coming from. The results are fun, though, to see what people think I know.

We’re going to do a countdown of the top twenty, and I’ll offer some insight or snark on each, case depending.

20. “dylan hears a who zip.” Dylan Hears a Who. That’s what you want. Oddly, I was just listening to that album yesterday… 🙂

19. “lego commander cody.” He’s a character in LEGO Star Wars in the mission where Obi-Wan goes to fight General Grievous. I liked Commander Cody. He was a good guy.

18. “things that happened in 1957.” A lot of stuff. Sputnik, for one.

17. “needy cat.” I’ve had needy cats, yes.

16. “virginia tech.” Some bad things happened there a week ago. I hope that the tragedy there touched no one that I know, but if it did you have my deepest condolences.

16. “when was bill gates born month/day/year.” According to Wikipedia, that would be on Blotmath 5, 1955 CE.

14. “federation starships.” Yes, the Federation has starships. What’s your question?

13. “miserable failure.” Google’s taken away the Googlebomb on this. The miserable failure? George W. Bush.

12. “burying a pet.” That was a damned difficult day. Doesn’t get any easier.

11. “abducted by the daleks.” That would be the Dalek porn, yes. I have a copy. No, I’m not going to tell you where to get one. Yes, it is absolutely awful.

10. “rhona mitra boston legal.” Rhona Mitra played Tara on The Practice and Boston Legal. She left at the beginning of the second season. She can come back. 🙂

9. “incestuous symbiosis.” I don’t even want to know what you nine people were looking for…

8. “describing myself.” I can’t help you in describing you, unfortunately, but since you came to this website I’m going to assume you want some help in describing me. 🙂 This might be a good place to start…

7. “tolkien desktop wallpaper.” It’s out there on the ‘net. There’s a lot of it out there, and I’m sure sixty-five percent of it–at least!–features Orlando Bloom. I might try John Howe‘s website. He’s got some really nice Tolkien images there. I particularly like a piece of concept art he did of Frodo fighting a Nazgul astride a Fell Beast at Amon Hen, a scene Peter Jackson had planned as the climax of the first film when Lord of the Rings was going to be a two films instead of three. I put that image on my desktop at Elder Health for about a day, then switched to a really cool image of LEGO Cybermen. 🙂

6. “things that happened on my birthday.” A lot of things, and a few things more. Your answers may vary, though. 😉

5. “stephen fry doctor who.” Stephen Fry, the man with a “brain the size of Kent” (because, sod it all, I love that phrase!), was going to write an episode of Doctor Who‘s second season. Then it became the third season. Then he finally said, “I don’t have three minutes to string two sentences together,” so he won’t be writing a Doctor Who script. No one knows what Fry was going to write; I’ve heard credible reports that it was going to be a King Arthur story (which would have kicked ass), a Viking story (which would have kicked ass), or a World War I story (would would have, you guessed it, kicked ass). Fry also appeared in the radio play “Death Comes to Time” as the Minister of Chance, a Time Lord ally of the Doctor, and Dan Freedman, producer of “DCtT,” had planned a Doctor Who spin-off about the Minister (which would have, yes, kicked ass). I love Stephen Fry’s writing, even if he did ruin Harry Potter for me. The man could read a telephone directory and I’d be rivetted. The man’s bloody brilliant as an actor–I adore his Duke of Wellington in Blackadder the Third. I was not particularly taken with him in V For Vendetta, though, because he was basically playing himself. And if David Tennant ever leaves, I’d gladly take Fry as the eleventh Doctor!

4. “new blackadder.” Yeah, I’d love to see it. Atkinson was up for it at one time. If you want something similar, watch Johnny English instead. 🙂

3. “anakin skywalker’s father.” I think it was Qui-Gon Jinn. That’s a definite minority view, though. 😉

2. “things that happened in 1947.” Jeez, people! That’s why they created Wikipedia! Fine. Here you go. Don’t say I didn’t do anything for you.

And, the top search phrase of the past two weeks…

1. “n gage parody humor.” To you thirty-seven people, I ask–“What are you looking for? Because I have no fucking clue!”

A couple of other notes from the next thirty most frequent search phrases. (The report cut off at fifty. So if you came here by search, and I’ve not mentioned you, it’s just because I don’t know your search. I’m sorry.)

“The” is the most used search word, at 247 times. The problem? Search engines don’t actually use “the.” People! You’re wasting a word in your search terms! If you take anything away from this, let it be this: “Don’t use ‘the’ or ‘and’ in a Google search, because Google doesn’t count ‘the’ or ‘and.'” 🙂

No, I haven’t written erotic fanfic about Captain Janeway. Yes, I do happen to think she was sexually frustrated for seven years (except for that brief, shining moment when Tom Paris turned her into a giant newt), but that doesn’t mean I have any interest in her mating habits…

Also, I have no idea if Hugh Laurie is an atheist, though it wouldn’t particularly surprise me–the English tend to be more secular than us colonials. “Illuminati” spelled backwards is “itanimulli,” though if you’re going to conjure with that please make sure you have a Defence of the Dark Arts teacher nearby. I’m just saying. And lastly, David Tennant was cute in “Gridlock” with the kittens. C’mon, who didn’t think the Doctor would pocket one of Brannigan’s kittens and take it with him? 🙂

This was fun, though I doubt I’ll pull another of these reports for a long time. Not as easy as it used to be a few years ago. :/

ETA (10 April 2008): This post used to have a link to the “Dylan Hears a Who” website, where you could download this fantastic album.

Unfortunately, the Theodore Geisel estate frowned on Dylan Hears a Who, so the website was taken down.

Which means that generations of children won’t have their minds blown by the sound of a Bob Dylan soundalike doing The Cat In The Hat.

Which is really quite remarkable, and should be heard.

You know what sucks?

This album is truer in spirit to the works of Dr. Seuss than virtually any other Seussian adaptation.

Maybe you can find it on a torrent. Maybe.

It’s worth searching out. 🙂

Published by Allyn

A writer, editor, journalist, sometimes coder, occasional historian, and all-around scholar, Allyn Gibson is the writer for Diamond Comic Distributors' monthly PREVIEWS catalog, used by comic book shops and throughout the comics industry, and the editor for its monthly order forms. In his over ten years in the industry, Allyn has interviewed comics creators and pop culture celebrities, covered conventions, analyzed industry revenue trends, and written copy for comics, toys, and other pop culture merchandise. Allyn is also known for his short fiction (including the Star Trek story "Make-Believe,"the Doctor Who short story "The Spindle of Necessity," and the ReDeus story "The Ginger Kid"). Allyn has been blogging regularly with WordPress since 2004.

2 thoughts on “On Search Phrases

  1. Number 9 and your response had me cracking up.

    I haven’t pulled the search logs to any great extent on my site, but I should. My number one search is “Katee Sackhoff”, which is weird, because the only time I had her on my site was for using her picture on my [i]Star Trek: Titan[/i] guide. Then the hits started. Then I made a post stating she’s not there on my site (to any real extent). Since then searches on my site for her have doubled.

  2. I ran the Google search. First hit on the term “incestuous symbiosis.” And when I saw why…

    In college I wrote a paper on John Lennon’s personality, and I posted the paper on my website. There I used the phrase “incestuous symbiosis” to describe part of Lennon’s personality using Ethan Fromm’s personality theories. Lennon idealized his mother, Julia, and that became the standard for his relationships, best exemplified by the song “Julia” in which Lennon sings that he’s transferring his love from his mother to Yoko Ono.

    Years pass, and you forget what certain phrases mean.

    So “incestuous symbiosis” isn’t as bad as I thought it was earlier. Bugger that.

    As for pulling the search logs… well, it used to be so easy for my server. Then they removed the web interface for it, so I had to go and pull a file using my FTP client, and then I had to run a stats analysis, and it’s just not worth it anymore.

    As for the Katee Sackhoff thing… well, you gotta love fans. 🙂

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