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Barbie Cow: You found me how?

Cheese orphans at Central Market. (photo by Tui Snider)
Cheese orphans at Central Market. (photo by Tui Snider)

You found me how?

Most of the time, new readers find this blog by searching for travel-related terms, such as “Cafe du Monde history,” “road trip to Paris, Texas,” or “how to make good coffee while traveling.” These phrases lead to popular articles on my site, so the search traffic makes sense.

Even when the search terms are more cryptic, most of the time it’s fairly obvious which article readers are looking for. People often wind up here from odd-sounding searches such as, “cat poop coffee shops.” Strange as that sounds, I did include an article about civet poop coffee in my bi-weekly blog carnival Traveler’s Show and Tell, so even that makes sense.

Sometimes, however, I get hits from Google for truly puzzling search terms, ones that leave me wondering what on earth those people hoped to read about. This, in turn, made me curious if other bloggers get a kick out of crazy search terms leading to their site. Turns out that they do:

Strange Search Traffic

I saw a fun meme over at M.A. Brotherton’s site while doing some #Reverb11 blog hopping. On the last day of each month, M.A. Brotherton and some other bloggers write a post about the weirdest search terms people have used to find their site. At the time, I thought, “Fun idea! I’ll join in next time.”

Then, of course, I promptly forgot about it.

Yesterday, however, my blog got a bunch of hits from the search term, “barbie cow,” which reminded me of the #YouFoundMeHow meme just in time for the end of January.

Want to play along?

Here are the rules as laid out by M.A. Brotherton (although I added number 4):

One: We link back to GeekinHard because Brad invented the idea, really.

Two: We look at our analytics and examine the keywords people used to find the site.

Three: We mock them. For Funsies.

Four: Use the Twitter hashtag #YouFoundMeHow when tweeting your link.

And if you just said,  “But doesn’t that mean you’re mocking me, your reader?” Obviously I’m not talking about YOU. You’re special and awesome. Everything you do makes perfect sense.

My Top 5 Strangest Search Terms for January 2012

1. ancient Texas mosque

Not only have the flags of six different nations flown over the Lone Star State, but apparently there are historical mosques here, as well. You know, back in ancient Texas.

2. electric cars chick magnet

This is an odd search term, and yet, it’s one that I heartily endorse. All too often, in films and TV shows the dweeby character is the one who drives the energy efficient vehicle such as a Prius or Insight. (Kinda like how every nerdy person on TV and in the movies wears glasses and carries an asthma inhaler with them 24/7.) I think it’s time we re-branded electric cars, don’t you?

3. traveling live crab

I get a lot of travel related searches, but this one made me wonder. More than likely, someone wants to take live crabs home to cook. On the other hand, someone could be looking for a way to take trips with their pet crab. After all, I saw a book about a guy who drove all over the USA with his pet chicken. Maybe this same guy found my site while doing research for a sequel to his chicken book.

4. inflatable friends

Are you happy with the overall quality of your friendships, yet disappointed by the fact that so few of them can also double as a flotation device? Me, neither. Oddly enough, this search term appeared the day after I watched the surprisingly kind-hearted movie, “Lars and the Real Girl.”

5. pictures of poop land

I am the first to admit that as much as I travel, my sense of geography is not the best. Even so, I had never heard of Poop Land. Is that where Scatman was born? Do eco travelers visit Poop Land to view endangered feces? Perhaps, if you are exiled from Candyland, this is where they send you.

Your turn!

What about you? Do you even notice people finding your blog using weird search terms? Let me know if you decide to play along.

Tui Snider
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Published inTravel Photo Essays


  1. Well, I found your blog through comment hour, but I love the vicarious traveling I get to do through it! I love looking at the incoming search terms. As a pretty specific niche-based blog, most of the terms to my site are very straight forward, but a few have been a bit interesting (nothing to revile poop land, however.) One was “edible dinosaur bones” and “pictures of a cute redhead”. I personally love the dino bone and need to incorporate it into a post!

    • mentalmosaic mentalmosaic

      Hi Sarah,

      Edible dinosaur bones? Wonder if they were planning a kid’s birthday party? Funny!

      Thanks for stopping by, Sarah. I love you blog, btw! :)

  2. HA! I have that book about the Guy Who travelled with his pet chicken. Would you like it when I am done with it?

    • mentalmosaic mentalmosaic

      Yes, Paula! I would love to read that book, actually. Are you enjoying it?


  3. Matthew Hyde Matthew Hyde

    For sheer gonzo madness, the greatest search term that gets people to my site is “Hitler in 3D” (they go away disappointed). However, at least I know which post it was aimed at “Biblical Prototype of the TARDIS” leaves me completely baffled every time it appears – I write about Christianity, I write about Doctor Who, but that search term is a whole new level of enigmatic…

    • mentalmosaic mentalmosaic

      Hi Matthew,

      Wow – that is a strange search term! Even stranger that it appears regularly.

      From Christianity and Dr Who to a 3D Hitler is an odd connection, indeed!

      Thanks for sharing your odd search terms!

    • mentalmosaic mentalmosaic

      Hi Elizabeth,

      Do you use anything to monitor how people find your site? There are a bunch of free things you can use to get statistics about your site, such as Google analytics, sitemeter, statcounter, and so on. From these, you can find out exactly what words people are typing into search engines in order to find your site.

      Even if you don’t do a post like this, it can be interesting and helpful to see how people find your site. Hope this helps! :)

      Thanks for stopping by!


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