Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Site searches - tttttttttttttttttttttttttttttoo baffling for words

Several times a day, an automated message drops into my inbox telling me the most searched for terms on the Liverpool Echo site.
It's an idea we appropriated from the Manchester Evening News a while ago and, as well as just being an informative overview of what users are looking for, it's proved popular with newsdesk types as it can give a heads-up on a story we don't know about.

We use analytics all the time to look at what is popular on the site, but the automated search-terms round-up will often flag up a name that's being repeatedly searched for; if we don't recognise that name, it may well be connected to a news story - we've found out the names of fatal rta victims before they were released by the police through friends searching for the story by name on the site.

We've also had some random ones - The World being searched for in the latest one is a cruise liner that visited Liverpool at the weekend but how do you explain the phrase 'knicker sniffer' being the top searched for term on the site recently? There wasn't a court case because we checked, but there were dozens of searches for it. Police could offer no enlightenment either... but I bet there will be a court case coming up in the near future involving that term (although probably in slightly more legalese).


But today's is a little baffling:






That's 'tttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt' and 'tttttttttttttttttttttttttttsssssssssssssss', just to be clear. No way it could be a repeated, random elbow on a keyboard surely? But we've puzzled and come up blank. Answers on a postcard please.

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