When I was a kid, those two words meant "beats me" or "darned if I know," but now they just make me think of airports. And Google. Yes, I've been looking at my referrer logs again.
For those of you who don't know, a "search string" is the word or words you enter in a search engine when you're hunting for something on the Web. When the results pop up and you click on a site, that site's referrer log (a record of visits to the site) will show the search engine that sent you and the words you used to search--that is, your search string.
I get a lot of traffic from the search engines, particularly Google, and it's always interesting to see how new people discover my website and this blog. Sometimes the search results are tremendously flattering, like this one I saw a couple of months ago:
best romance novelist ever
I'm the third result returned by Google for that particular search. And don't think for a minute that I haven't bragged about it to all of my author friends. But while I do realize that particular searcher was probably just a fourth-grader working on a report for English class, I can hardly believe I beat out Jane Austen for the honor. Thanks for noticing me, Google!
But then I get stuff like this:
I HATE BRENDA
Yes, it was all in caps, the online equivalent of shouting. I guess somebody was pretty worked up. MSN directed that person to my blog several days ago. Like I'm the only Brenda on the internet? Give me a break.
Here's another one that made me blink. This person came to my blog last night:
bad romance novel writing
Okay, MSN, what is that supposed to mean? When somebody says, "bad romance novel writing," you automatically think of me? Thanks a bunch.
MSN was a busy little search engine last night. They also sent me a visitor who wanted to know:
how to write a romance novel in thirty days
Sorry, friend, but I don't have a clue. I suggest that you try Google.
I can't decide whether to be glad about being visited by this next searcher or not. Also from last night:
Flattering as it is that Yahoo is so familiar with my blog's name that it shot the questioner straight over here, I'm a bit worried. What if there's now a crazy anarchist bent on undermining my authority over this little blogdom?
I really have to stop looking at my referrer logs. Thinking too much about these search strings can't be good for my ego or my digestion.