Since you asked… Feb 13
Most search terms which lead to my blog are fairly predictable. Others, however, make me sit up and think "huh?" In this monthly series, I'll be answering those burning questions people have asked to wind up on this blog.
What we're all looking for
One of the fun things about blogging (and there are many) is getting an insight into what People On The Internet are like. Aside from the trolls & seemingly endless negativity, there are some real gems out there. Some of you are quite quirky, others insightful, still others awe-inspiring. It seems that most of us, however, are just trying to get by, scrabbling around this unfathomably large heap of information in a vain attempt to make sense of it all.
This blog, like all those on the SciLogs network, is run on WordPress software. I have a nifty "dashboard" screen where I can upload my posts, moderate comments, and see statistics about who is reading my blog (1000 unique visitors in my first week, thanks everyone!). These numbers cover things like the type of browser people use, and which posts they read the most. They also include information about how people arrived on my blog. For instance, if someone submits a post to a popular science-related forum, or a link-sharing site like Reddit, then those will show up in my "referrers" section. Alternatively, if someone used a search engine, the terms they searched for to wind up here are also visible to me.
The "Since you asked..." series
Most search terms which lead to my blog are fairly predictable. "Language science blog", for instance. Others, however, make me sit up and think "huh?"
In this new monthly series of posts, I'll be highlighting some of the best/strangest/most amusing search terms that have led people here. I'll focus on those which are expressed as questions, because those lend themselves more naturally to answers I could give.
You can think of it as an Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) of sorts. By the way, "FAQ" is one of the few initialisms which translates well into French, with no need to change any letters or their ordering: Indeed, FAQ in French is said to stand for Foire Aux Questions, which means "question fair" (in a slightly chaotic "Ye Olde Fayre" sense). I quite like it.
Since you asked...
what does it mean false friends
That's an easy one! "False friends" in foreign languages are words or expressions which look or sound similar to words in your own language, but which have a different meaning. I have written a couple of posts about false friends already. In the real world, false friends are an entirely more sad affair, so I really hope whoever was searching for this found what they were looking for here.
Since you asked...
hindi thoughts from science
This one's a bit more unexpected. I mentioned Hindi briefly in my first post about false friends. I tagged the post with "Hindi" (among other languages), which probably helped make it more visible to search engines.
I'm afraid I can't help much with this one. A more relevant result might be this YouTube channel (though I can't be sure).
Since you asked...
"how many moons does jupiter have"
Having never mentioned Jupiter on my blog (until now), I think this one wins the prize for most surprising search term on "Do You Speak Science?" for February 2013. What surprises me more is that it was used three times, on two separate days! By the way, the answer is "at least 50".
Of course, I realize that by writing about these search terms and quoting them verbatim, I will only reinforce the trend. Hopefully, by putting answers next to the questions, I can help people will find what they are looking for.
More on search terms:
- Inspired by others, I recently started writing poetry using the search terms from my other blog.
- If you're not happy having your search terms revealed to the sites you visit, you might try using a search engine which does not provide this information to the websites you visit, such as DuckDuckGo.There's also this interesting Star Wars-themed article about search term privacy and the implications for online marketing.
Over to you
Do you have a (science or other) blog? What unexpected search terms or questions have led people to you? What do you think they were really looking for?