AOL Search Data Spawns Useful Tool


An actually useful AOL tool, not just a voyeur or Overture-style keyword lister.

This one tells you for a given site, which keywords the users came in on.

For example find out what TV shows give the BBC the most traffic.



For this - given that my 2 way satellite connection would need until September to get the tarball, this will be a fun little distraction. At worst.

The long tail

That BBC query certainly shows that the long tail is alive and kicking.

Abortions and ass traffic

According to this tool - someone found TW by searching for abortion adoption and another through ass traffic - link

Ass Traffic

TW comes at #14 on Google for Ass Traffic

Its the sort of keyword phrase that you would know would be on TW and you need not trouble the search engines


C'mon people. #14? Is that really the best we can do? Let's help Aaron get to #1!

Ass Traffic!

Another nice tool

working with the AOL data is this one

Re: another nice tool

Tried it and got this:

Currently under maintenance. Please return at 1:00 PM

It is working here,

although the site mentions "currently indexing only 500,000 searches as maintenance is being done."


AOL releases a boatload of data. 'Privacy Concerns' everyone screams.

Then a couple of tools are released on a couple of websites. 'Fantastic" everyone screams. 'Please, allow us to show the site operators exactly what phrases and sites we're interested in'. ;)

'Please, allow us to show the site operators

..exactly what phrases and sites we're interested in'

Yes, had a smile myself when I saw the tools.

I guess TW has a greater than average number of users who would be aware of this.

"Sed quis custodiet ipsos custodes?" or "Who watches the watchmen?", in this case the site owner of the "handy tools" site

the deed is done

DigitalGhost, I think the point is that AOL let the genie out of the bottle. I mean this data is probably already on Gnutella and some bit torrents.

It's Everywhere

My point is that people still won't give a rat's ass about privacy. ;)It won't change the way people search, it won't affect the way data is collected, probably won't change the way data is stored and is unlikely to result in any meaningful laws aimed at protecting privacy.

Remember when paranoid webmasters flocked to the Google dance tools? Entering in phrase after phrase? Now paranoid webmasters are heading to the AOL data query tool...

And while AOL may have let one genie loose, think about all those damn bottles out there.

Now, how long before we see lawsuits related to personably identifiable information being released by AOL?

>how long

>how long before we see lawsuits related to personably identifiable information being released by AOL?

2 weeks, max.

>rat's ass

Find that rightwing bible-belt Senator with a penchant for porn searches and you'll see who (suddenly) gives a rat's ass.

Cold Mountain

They call this 'privacy issue' a cloud over the land. But they made the weather and then they stand in the rain and say, "Shit it's raining." ~Ruby Thewes (Renee Zellweger)

Edited to suit my purpose. ;)

the 400+ people that

the 400+ people that searched for "sex with animal" are getting very worried right now. i doubt they will go in front of a judge and try to sue AOL for releasing data that shows they searched for animal sex. i think they are more likely to try to change their names.

"Sex With My Dog"

Turns out to be one of the phrases driving traffic to You don't think they optimized for that phrase, do you?

There are some other interesting results in the PlentyofFish file - for example, why is PoF coming up for "Computers for Motorbikes"?

eBay showed up with only 273 total keywords, most of which include the letters ebay. What's up with that?

Motorbikes, Computers and a

forklift driver from Queensland...

ToowoombaGuy You can do yer own search for odd activities with canines...

Still interesting to me

It's still interesting to me - seems to be set up and optimized so that randome interests like motorcycles and computers, when they appear on the same page, do well enough so that they get ranked high enough to actually generate traffic. eBay, on the other hand, with zillions more pages, many of which are on very specific topics, doesn't have enough site juice to rank and drive traffic on many of those pages unless the term eBay also is used. That assumes, of course, that the folks putting up the tool didn't cut off the eBay tail for some reason.


I'm an idiot. Truly. The eBay searches for the unique items all go to

I've wasted a morning playing with it, but I'm still grateful it was pointed out. I love seeing what sites are ranking for, and, just as much where I know the spaces, what they are not ranking for that maybe they ought to be ranking for.

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