AOL Findings on the Cutting Room Floor

In the previous post, I mentioned I had some sections that were omitted from my column on AOL’s Database of Good Intentions.

Here’s one batch of them. More to come. Note that these aren’t as polished as those that appeared in the column, since all of those were edited a few more times. These are more in the spirit of sharing thoughts on the subject.

As a bonus for reading this far, check out another great AOL research tool you can use to mine the database:

And now, rejected excerpts:

People aren’t sheep.
Scrolling through these lists of queries, hardly anyone tends to search once,
click the first result, and call it a day. People are constantly searching for
the same thing over and over again, and the more personally invested in it, the
more they’ll search. Sometimes their searches get smarter, but it’s common to
see someone click the back button, such as the woman who repeatedly searched
for “how much excersize is needed to lose weight.” (The gender isn’t derived
from that search alone; this person sought information on girdles, losing
weight after pregnancy, how women can lose weight, and birth control that helps
one lose weight. Another search suggested she wanted to lose weight before the
prom. I do hope this woman’s searches improved from her final one recorded,
“how to lose weight fast i don’t care if its unhealthy.”)

Celebrities make
people goofy.
Around the time that Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes brought baby
Suri into the world, one searcher repeatedly looked for “tom cruise astrology
chart.” (8317520) Another one (17239996) was concerned leading up to Suri’s
birth, repeatedly asking AOL, “what will katie holmes do if she has to have a
c-section.” As someone whose mood rises and falls with Mets star David Wright’s
batting average, I’m in no position to fault one for their distractions; it’s
just fun reading these results and watching how unabashedly silly people get
when supposedly no one’s watching.