A Mystery

Embedded in the code of this happy little blog is a utility called “Google Analytics.” It gives me the ability to view reports on how many visitors have stopped by, how long they stayed, and, if those visitors came via a link from another site or search engine it allows me to know which one.

On a typical day, I get only 30-40 visitors to this site. (Of these, 10 are usually relatives. 10 others are friends–old and new. And the remainder appear to be either long-term inmates of Flurgendorf Prison or students at the University of Blaupunkt.)

 Well, a few days ago I checked my site traffic report and discovered a huge spike in visits on October 25th. More than 250 “unique visitors” had stopped by on that one day. Needless to say, I was curious as to why so many people had suddenly stopped by, and who/what had sent them. My assumption was that some popular blog had linked to one of my recent posts.

Upon futher investigation, I learned that nearly all of the new visitors had bypassed the home page of this blog and gone directly to a post I had written way back in July. It was, this one, in which I opined about the new Boeing 787 commercial aircraft.

That wasn’t all that surprising. I still assumed some busy blog had found that post interesting or relevant and decided to link to it, thereby sending a flurry of traffic to that page on my site. But then I checked to see what site had referred all that traffic.

As it turned out, the hits did not come from a single site but rather from eight different-but-related sites. Specifically, each hit had been a result of a Google image search in various countries. The referring sites broke down as follows:

67 visitors from images.google.pl (Poland)

60 visitors from images.google.fi (Finland)

57 visitors from images.google.dk (Denmark)

48 visitors from images.google.com (USA)

30 visitors from images.google.ro (Romania)

15 visitors from images.google.id (Indonesia)

5 visitors from images.google.uk (Great Britain)

4 visitors from images.google.ar (Argentina)

Plus a scattering from Russia, Spain, Mexico, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Slovak Republic, Brazil, and Turkey. 

Is it just me or is this exceedingly odd? If I am interpreting the reports accurately, Scores of people on four continents all decided to do a Google image search that led them to link to an old post of mine containing a picture of Boeing’s new 787 and Airbus’s new Leviathan-garganto-liner A380. On the same day.


Did the guys at the NSA who are supposed to be monitoring bad guy activity on the Internets take notice of this? I sure hope so. It’s creepy.

I suppose some international financial publication might have run some big story on that day that prompted people all over the planet to do an image search using an unusual set of search terms that caused my little blog’s post to turn up high in the results. 

If you, dear reader, have an insight as to what might explain this, I’d love to hear it.