Lee Gomes spends some time with the AOL search database and discovers free music and sex are popular search queries.
The fact that “lyrics” is the most popular search word explains why there are so many lyric sites that seem to exist merely to display banner ads, force popups down your browser, and generally assault you with blinks, flashes and gaudy colors.
Celebrity searches are big, which doesn’t surprise me since the most common search hits on howardowens.com recently are “Rick Sutcliffe drunk,” “Xavier Nady married” and “Connie Chung fired.”
Many searchers ask questions, more probably than a few years ago, which makes one wonder if Ask Jeeves wasn’t just a bit ahead of its time, and if natural language search doesn’t need to improve. In a natural language search is the Google page rank method really ideal?
Gomes found that a lot of people type in full URLs, including “http” into the search engine form. I suspect that is largely an AOL phenomenon. I’ve found over the years that many people come to RVClub.com by typing the full URL into the AOL search box, but I haven’t seen that pattern repeated with any other site I’ve been associated with, and not so much from other search engines. It’s worth noting, however, that Google and AOL handle such such searches completely differently. Google sends you right to the page, whereas AOL serves up a search results page. This could change the referrer results in Web logs.