When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson

15 October 2005

Odd search strings in the site logs

If you've ever run a blog or a web site of your own, you know that you can glean a lot of information by reading and analyzing your site logs:
  • Where your visitors are physically located.

    Unsurprisingly, the US, UK and Canada combined account for close to 80% of our traffic, but we get visitors from all over. The current top ten, in order: US, UK, Spain, Canada, Brazil, Peru, Portugal, Chile, Mexico and Singapore. (Hi, Fiona!)

  • Which sites are sending you the most visitors.

    Right now, The Modulator, Chapomatic, and Bill in Exile are sending the most new visitors our way... thanks, guys!

  • For visitors who find you through search engines like Google or Yahoo, the searches they ran that brought them to your site.
And therein lies our tale.

Lately, I have seen some very amusing and occasionally puzzling search strings.

For instance, we have a number of visitors from the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking parts of the world who find us by doing an image search for "gatos." Yep... if you're on the Iberian peninsula or anywhere in Latin America and you've gone looking for cat pictures recently, chances are you've met Mister Gato.

I have learned that there are a bunch of you out there who have no idea how to light a pilot light, and you ask Google, or MSN, or Yahoo about it (and find this post, which I doubt is all that helpful.)

I now know that many of you have problems with your Westell Versalink 327W DSL router/modems. Sigh. Me, too.

But every now and then I run across one that's completely inexplicable.

One of the interesting things about being an "eclectic blogger" (meaning that I write about whatever the hell I feel like on any given day) is that over time, your archives accumulate some unusual combinations of words.

And so it was, just the other day, that some Rhodes Scholar, some miscreant from the shallow end of the gene pool, surfed in to enrevanche after entering this search string into Yahoo:
"Using IAMS dog food for cooking meth."
Words fail me.

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