Sunday, March 12, 2006

Web Search for Enlightenment

Dear Reader, the excellent web site traffic meter Extreme Tracking collects an astonishing amount of information about you unless you shield yourself in some arcane techie way. The information I look at the most is referrer data: where people were when they clicked on a link to come to Salto sobrius. That's how I found out about the anti-Scientologists, the Danish nationalists and just how popular certain blog carnivals and web forums are.

Another interesting and often entertaining kind of information is what search keywords people have entered into Google or Technorati to come here. A lot of them are related to porn: simply mentioning Doppelpenetration, Ginny Noack (both in a non-pornographic entry about porn), thongs and big fat mamas has garnered me a lot of single-second visits by people who are disappointed to find no actual porn here.

Apart from the names of the blog and myself, the most sought-after keywords that bring readers here are Suliman Cassimjee, Svante Fischer and wattle-and-daub. Mr Cassimjee has a lot of fans among anti-Scientologists, wattle-and-daub is a concern for people who build ecological houses, but the internet public's interest in Dr Fischer is kind of surprising. He doesn't have very many Google hits, but there's clearly a lot of people out there who want to know more about him. The searches are far too many and too persistent to be Svante himself doing egoboost searches. I mean, everyone does them, but you don't keep checking out the same old sites once you've learned what they are.

My favourite search keywords are the absurd ones. Take "castum cars". Yes, I have mentioned cars, and yes, certain early translators of Tacitus thought he was talking about a place called Castum when he actually meant something else completely, and I've quoted that passage. So, here come these custom-car fans. Who can't spell very well. And they keep ending up here, to their utter bewilderment, I imagine.

Or the Yemenite person who came here after searching, in caps, for "EXAMPLE OF SEX".

Or, very recently, people searching for "crew cut Malmö" and "Mesolithic comets". I ask you, what are they on? That's really absurdist poetry in its most compact form.

Search keywords are great. I wish I'd saved the best ones as they zipped past in the list.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

På tal om inget, har du läst Vete vapen och virus av Jared Diamond där "allt" förklaras?

22 March, 2006 07:44  
Blogger Martin said...

Nope, haven't read Guns, germs and steel. I haven't been actively avoiding it, but I am skeptic towards any attempt to explain great big chunks of global history at one fell swoop.

History is a complex system, like the weather. If I ask "why is it overcast today", then nobody can isolate three basic causes for this state of affairs.

But the book may be great, what do I know?

22 March, 2006 08:45  

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