Opinionated Googlers

second google imageOne of the most addictive parts of blogging is checking out the search terms that lead readers to my blog. I spend far too much time wondering about the anonymous people who typed those words into Google, Bing, or Yahoo. In the past, I’ve written about the terms posed as questions, like Do Book Review Blogs Make Money?, and now I’m discussing a few instances where an opinionated person sat down at his or her computer, typed a statement into a search engine, and found this blog (and its equally opinionated author).

Here are a few examples (I did not correct spelling or grammar):

  • “my sister has the best brother”

Well, if you do say so yourself!

  • “plagiarism is every where thanks to the internet”

It does feel like plagiarism is everywhere, doesn’t it? There are many who believe that the Internet has enabled plagiarizers, with research suggesting that plagiarism is on the rise, but the Internet is also a means of uncovering it. It might be easier than ever before to lift content with CTRL+C, but you do so at your own risk. It’s very easy to detect this type of intellectual dishonesty through programs or simply by googling portions of someone’s work to see if those phrases originated elsewhere. Plagiarism often violates school conduct policies, and sometimes even violates the law if it’s copyright or trademark infringement.

See my previous post, When Do Plagiarizers and Fabricators Deserve Our Sympathy.

  • “parents today are causing kids to feel entitled”

This search is likely nothing more than an example of the ubiquitous “‘this younger generation is so terrible,’ said every older generation ever” mindset. Even if we assume this generation truly is more “entitled” than its predecessors, we can’t blame parents for everything. Ideally, parents would try their hardest to raise well-adjusted, non-materialistic children, but there are many external influences in a child’s life, from his or her community to the advertisements on TV.

Now, if you’re looking for a book for an “entitled” child, check out Patrick McDonnell’s The Gift of Everything. It’s lovely.

  • “it’s not ok to be different at all”

Ugh, need I say anything about this one? I don’t know if the person who typed this statement actually adheres to it, but it sounds like they should read Todd Parr’s It’s Okay to Be Different. Yes, it’s a children’s book, but a person who doesn’t already understand the book’s universal message of acceptance needs to go back to the basics.

See my post, What’s Not Okay: Thoughts on Todd Parr’s “It’s Okay to Be Different.”

  • “women can’t fill high level position”

Here’s another ugly one. I certainly hope the person who wrote it doesn’t actually believe it, but there are far too many people out there who do. Despite making great strides in the workforce, women continue to face barriers that keep them in lower wage jobs and lower level positions. Even women working in the same positions as men tend to be paid less, a very sad fact as we approach the fiftieth anniversary of the Equal Pay Act (stay tuned for more on this subject next week).

For those of you with blogs, what are some of your favorite search terms?


  1. I steadfastly refuse to help web search engines find me. I don’t like their businesses keeping users’ information, mostly because I know it will be developed into a full profile and will end up in the hands of the feds (particularly Google which is especially deceptive about its lack of privacy). So I refuse to be part of that system. I find other ways of drawing people to my blog. Anyway I only really want readers who have the same principles I do, which means that volume isn’t as important to me as quality traffic.

    Seeing the type of searches that people do, I can say I have no regrets – I would be depressed about the future of humanity if I read that sort of thing all the time.

    1. Many of the search terms are as awful as some of the ones I included in this post, but many are not. I get lots of searches from people who are genuinely looking for information and services (such as domestic violence information; I am not the best spot for that, but I do include some important links from time to time). Search engines, as flawed as they may be, are a major way of connecting people with the information and services they need. Thanks for your comment!

    1. It’s interesting that such an undemocratic awards show would be so prestigious and popular (to the point that people organize games and parties around it).

    1. That’s funny! I can’t imagine why anyone would be searching for “do you think I smell funny,” unless they’re remembering that as a line of something they’re trying to find again. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I found this one on my blog today: “pictures of orbs in wabasha caves.” One of the all-time favorite search terms is “porn cake.”

    I like seeing my name in the search terms. That means people are starting to recognize I’m a writer and are interested in learning more about me.

    1. That must be really neat to see your name in the search terms! The weirdest search I saw was one for my kids’ full names. Who on earth is googling that?

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