One of the statistics provided every day by WordPress (the service that hosts this blog) is a list of “referrers,” websites that blog visitors click on to get to your blog. Most of the referrers for this blog are sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google Reader, and WordPress itself. Most visitors have been here before and rely on one of those services to let them know that something new has been posted.
But some people wind up here because they were searching for a word or phrase on Google (or, much less often, Bing or Yahoo), and The Pietist Schoolman happened to come up somewhere in the results. Most often, such a search makes obvious sense: lots of Pietism-related searches lead here, plus those on aspects of World War I and other historical events I discuss occasionally.
And then there are the oddballs. The connections emerge after a while, but on their face, it seems like Google has a screw loose. (A metaphorical one; surely Google has no need of something as primitive as a screw.) So as a change of pace, here’s another in my occasional roundups of my favorite such search strings from the past few months, with my attempts to explain the logic that led them to my door:
- “how to be german”: Seven of these searches since I passed along a post offering such advice…
- “bitka na marni”: not so weird if you speak Serbo-Croatian, since its English version has led dozens to some of my many World War I-related posts
- “how did pietism emerge in ghana”: Ask my colleague Victor Ezigbo, author of a chapter on this unlikely-sounding topic in our Pietist Impulse book (previewed here way back in the summer of 2011)
- “which continent has dominated badminton”: Did you really need to ask? It’s not that close.
- “why do they criticize the brazilian national anthem”: “Criticize” is a bit strong… It did rank #5 in my 2011 “Best National Anthems” contest.
- “shakespearian actor dr bob jones jr”: I would put this under the “inexplicable” category below, except for what I learned about the fundamentalist educator at a conference last October.
- “my bearded self beard”: Let’s see that deeply troubling portrait one more time, shall we?
- “chris gehrz quizes”: No, Bethel student trying to avoid studying, I don’t post my previous quizzes on my blog and then recycle them in later semesters.
- “who was the worst person at war”: Must resist urge to make joke about France or Italy; must resist urge to make joke about…
Then a few more that just strike me as best left unexplained (either because they’re inexplicable, funnier without comment, or not something I really want to ponder):
- “bethel university liberal leaning”
- “marcus mumford waistcoat”
- “horse mask wwi”
- “sullen tempered pharaoh of england”