Google. The search engine that offers us quick and easy answers for life's great questions...
Like, "What Does Manfred Mann's Blinded By the Light really mean?" (Answer: Some things in life may never be understood.)
Or: "Who was that actor in that film with that other guy in it with the car and the hair?" (Answer: Gramma, you're going to need to give me more clues if you expect me to look this up on the internet for you.)
And that got me thinking about the different ways we search for information on the internet.
So here at Of Cabbages and Kings, our fleet of SEO experts have performed an in-depth analysis of the search terms used to reach this very web site, and have examined them for common stylistic techniques.
(Translation: I spent five minutes going through my stats and made broad, subjective generalizations for humor value).
Perhaps you've seen these techniques in your own web stats. Or perhaps you get your Google on with one of these styles yourself:
The Stream-of-Consciousness Author
Personal and immediate, the Stream of Consciousness Google surfer does not just search for keywords; he searches as if writing a first person dream sequence. (Or possibly he has been hypnotized twenty years ago during psychotherapy, and mistakes Google for his lost therapist. )
Laughing in the face of the concept of "keywords," searchers with this style use lengthy descriptions of situations and memories, using full sentences.
Like the one I saw in my Statcounter stats the other day:
"program I used to watch during the 90s and as far as I can remember it contained dinosaur like creatures but they all--"
I'm not sure what '"they all" were, because the character limit ran out. But the searcher was determined to communicate with Google like an old friend.
(By the way, Searcher, if you should happen to read this-- the program you're talking about is called, obscurely-enough, "Dinosaurs.")
Now, the Stream-of-Consciousness Writer is often paired with another Google style...
"The Google Reads My Mind" Searcher
These folks know the power of technology and realize that the moment you sit down to a computer, The Mighty Google already knows who you are and what you are thinking. So you can type in:
"Red shirt I used to have in 1989"
And it'll come back with a photo of the stylish button-up you wore over your MC Hammer pants.
You might type in:
"that weird plant in my back yard"And you expect it to come up with horticultural information on the strange vining pod you've been trying to cut back, but which keeps singing doo-wop showtunes at you and calling you "Seymour."
The Well-Meaning Speller
This Googler needs information but may find himself narrowly missing it, because he operates on intuition and phonics, and enjoys seeing asthma with two "z's". The Well-Meaning Speller is a free-spirit not bound by the confines of things like dictionaries or self-doubt. His search interests tend to fall largely, but not exclusively, in the "erotica" category. But he is too excited to stop and look up how to spell "naked."
The Jeopardy Contestant
This user types all searches in the form of a question. Points will, apparently, be taken off for not phrasing it in that way.
"Where do I go to get my license renewed?"
"Who is Justin Bieber and why is he taking over Twitter?"
These and other queries comprise this searcher's web world. After all, Alex Trebek-Google is terribly strict.
The Girls Girls Girls Patron
Whatever this searcher is looking for, he will add the word "nude" or "naked" to it. (If combined with the well-meaning speller, it's likely to be "necked", "nood" or "wit no close".)
It doesn't matter if it's Janet Reno, Holly Hobbie or a bag of potato chips, he'll want to see it buck and beautiful.
So tell me, folks-- How do you or your visitors Google?