It’s been a while since I did one of these posts and they’re fun, so I thought it time for another. Using Google Analytics, I keep track of the various hits to my website here. I can track what are the popular posts, how long people stick around, where they come from and so on. One of the most entertaining things to be found is the keywords and key phrases search results. This lists all the words and phrases that people have used in a search (on Google or Yahoo! or whatever) that has led them to this website. It’s always fun to see what people are searching for and what subsequently leads them to my humble online abode. Incidentally, I can’t learn anything personal about these people from these searches – it’s purely statistical, so don’t think I’m secretly spying on readers like a perv at a school playground.

Anyway, here are a bunch of search words and phrases that caught my eye, either because I found them interesting or funny. This is only over the past month, so that in itself is quite fascinating. I’ve copied the search words into this post as images, so as not to upset the balance in future posts. If you can’t see them in your reader, click through to this actual site and you’ll see it all.

Firstly, by far the most common word leading people to this site is:

That makes me kinda proud. It also pleases me that, even now, so many people are still seeking the Great Old Ones. Seriously, this word outguns all other searches by a factor of hundreds. I also saw this as generating a lot of results.

I didn’t know what it said, but it looked like Russian. So I asked my Russian friend and he said:

Doesn’t look like a word but when I sound it out it’s (or at least a Russified version) – it also tripped me up because it has some very similar sounds to some swear words so it sounds like a swearword in Russian!

You can probably imagine how happy that made me.

Another very common search was this one, both ways around:

This would have landed people here purely because of the post I wrote in September last year about International Blasphemy Day and Banned Books Week.

Another common search hit was:

And variations thereof. This one is because of a post from December 2008 that generated more debate and comment than this site has seen before or since. I had to close the comments after it got way too out of hand. But if you haven’t seen it yet, check out what happens when you bad mouth real life super heroes.

This one always makes me laugh and always makes these posts:

Seriously, people? I mean, really?

Then things get a bit weird. I don’t know why this search landed the person here:

I’m also appalled that a person had to search for this term, and I wonder why a person would search for it online?

Then we go to the surreal:

If anyone knows what this means, please tell me! It is an anagram of dark short, and I do have a page of short stories here called Dark Shorts, so there’s some connection there. But I still have no idea why that particular phrase would be searched for.

On this next one, do you think they mean “endearing” or are they trying to hold a facial expression throughout:

Why search for this? It can’t require much training:

This one is all kinds of weird:

Now, I know this next bloke is a god among men when it comes to being a speculative fiction writer, but does the man have his own commas now? Has he developed a personal style of punctuation?

Lastly, I feel very sorry for this person, that they had to search for this. Their online shopping experiences must have been very uncomfortable up until now:

So there you go. There’s some insight into the kind of things that land random people here at The Word. Those were a select few from over a thousand search hits just from the last month. Seriously, the internet is one whacky place.