It’s time for the search strings redux! And I’ve got a lot of search strings to skim through. I’ve handpicked a few along certain themes, because, as always, my interest is in who people think they’re talking to when confronted with a search engine. Can we tell what’s going on in people’s minds by looking at the way they phrase their questions? It can’t hurt to try.
First, the how-tos: people often turn to Google when they want to know how to do something. But, as is often the case, users haven’t entirely parsed exactly what they’re looking for, or how best to ask for it. So, users see an empty search box as saying, “So, what do you want to know how to do today?”
how do you know if a women wants to be that just friends
how to clear search strings
how to care for uncircumsized penis
how start revolution
how to know if you’re blocked on msn
how to get superglue off plastic glasses
how can i get free erotic story to my e mail inbox
how to keep student from being bored
how to break up a ganglion cyst
how to get people to come to library
And then there’s my personal favourite class of search string, which many of those how-tos above fit into: the complete phrase:
what did you think of the july 2005 new jersey bar examination
why do you see laptop as a distraction in class?
what makes people steal
what could i use from todays society to be written like jonathan swifts a modest proposal
what’s so great about reference librarians
what kind of problems do medieval peasants face
why are women complicated
how did people react to swift’s a modest proposal
what was the climax of jonathan strange?
when did cbc go on strike?
what is an academic monograph
how do i become a librarian?
is there profit in bookstores
what have people been searching for lately
why was the internet created
what is a wildcard when writing a search string
what problems are librarians encountering today?
what happened on december 9 2004
if you could change who would you be
what does the eagle has landed mean
does tilex fresh shower really work
who started sociological critcism?
And, I think I have to pick a personal favourite:
find me a coursework story about an assassin
I love this one because of the delightful anthropomorphizing of the Google search that’s going on here. Not only a complete sentence, but one with a directive at the front: find me this. There’s something strange yet endearing about that.