WordPress provides a range of blog statistics, including which search terms people used to arrive on my blog. Over the years, I have seen sensible, or at least explainable, search terms, and a bunch of funny or plain weird ones. Regarding the latter, it clearly demonstrates limitations of string-based and statistical methods for web searches, and to some extent that Internet users could do with some training on how to search for information.
The top searches of the past 5 years and >100 or >>100 times used are: ontology, keet, aardappeleters, parallel processing operating system, ontologies, and philosophy of computer science, and then there are often recurring strings that are quite similar but count as different hits, mainly about women’s achievements, failing to recognize one’s incompetence, granularity, and [computer science/ontology] with [medicine/ecology/philosophy/biology]. This is understandable given the topics I have blogged about.
More interesting from a computing perspective are those that are sort of, or even plain, wrong—and their reasons why. The remainder of the post is devoted to a selection of the more curious ones that I collected intermittently over the past 2 months (in italics), and added comments to several of them (in plain text). They are divided into “search engines are not oracles”, “what were they thinking?”, “curious”, “plain wrong”, and “miscellanea”.
Search engines are not oracles!
- should i be a scientist or an engineer
- what should be done with the outcome of assessment and how to use the outcome of assessments. The announcement of my ESWC2011 paper comes up, but is unlikely to give the user the answer they were looking for (there aren’t that many people interested in experiments with foundational ontologies).
- how useful is philosophy in computer science. This post on what philosophers say about computer science turns up when I searched for it, which does not deal with the usefulness, let alone the amount of usefulness of philosophy in computer science. The next search string is a bit more sensible in general and with respect to the blog post’s content:
- is computer science a science by different philosophers
- reasons for wildlife ontology development. There are posts about the African Wildlife tutorial ontology and the IJMSO paper that has a list of reasons for developing an ontology, but they have not been put together to give you reasons for developing a wildlife ontology.
- ecology lessons good? The post on ontologies for ecology turns up, not in the least bit answering the question—those authors learned valuable lessons using ontologies in ecology research.
- do i read too much? and can you read too much. This post is on the first page of results where I explore of one can read ‘too much’, only slightly more skewed toward ‘answering’ the second search string than the first.
What were they thinking?
- writers who do not read
- too much work blog
- undergraduate computer science research least publishable unit. Since when do undergrads care about LPUs?
- useful typology. The typology of bureaucracies turns up in my Google search results; if it is a useful one remains to be seen.
- random structure of website. My blog was not on the first 5 pages of Google when I searched (but it is by now known that Google customizes the search results).
- response to the dirty war. Which dirty war would that be? There are three posts on the response to the dirty war *index* that I have my opinion about (here, here, and here).
- computational food. Perhaps the user was thinking about computation with data about food? The only one that might fit, sort of, is the post about culinary evolution. There are interesting hits on the first Google page, though, such as about computational models of microwave food processing and computational food engineering.
- notify me if someone searches for me on google
Curious search terms, but somewhat understandable
- non violent essay. An essay itself is never violent; there’s a post on the non-violent personality though.
- incompetence blog. Uhmm… I fancy thinking this is not a blog about incompetence. There is a post about the Keller-Dungan effect (on being incompetent and unaware of it).
- incompetence not realize
- methontology ping pong. Googling for it, this post comes up, of which it is unlikely that it served the user, because it covers realism-based ontologies and methodologies (such as methonotology) that has a blog comment lamenting the “self contained ping pong matches among academics”.
Plain wrong hit
- anatomical structure of an owl. This is a nice example of the limitations of string-based and statistical approaches compared to semantic searches.
- salami techniques in information system. I googled it again, and my blog does not appear on the first 5 pages, and there is no post even remotely close to the search term.
- slinging techniques. It is not on the first 5 pages of Google when I searched, and there is nothing about slinging techniques on any of the blog posts.
- ponder ontology. It appears that ponder is an object-oriented language to describe policies; I write about ontologies and do ponder about things, but have not put them together.
- granular book. I did announce a book about granular computing, but not about books that may be granular.
- ontologies funny photos. Are there funny photos of/about ontologies?
- 4. dimension
The problem of listing these odd ones is that the search algorithms will not change in the very near future, and thus that, due to this post, more people will be misdirected to my blog. But perhaps this manually assessed list of odd search terms might, some time, help in improving the algorithms and summarizing the content the links point to.