Wow, it's the site's
18 (edit: can you tell I "wrote" the intro to this post by copy-pasting an old post?) 22 millionth hit. (Not as impressive as it sounds. It's hits: someone loading a page that shows nine photos will generate 10 hits, because the photos count, too; robot visitors lumped in with the humans, even in the cases where it's easy to tell them apart.) Looking at the apache log line, I see:
18.104.22.168 - - [08/Feb/2013:03:10:25 -0400] "GET /slick.css HTTP/1.1" 200 2856 "http://lahosken.san-francisco.ca.us/anecdotal/hunt/teamlist/" "Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; MSIE 9.0; Windows NT 6.0; WOW64; Trident/5.0)"
This is a browser loading the stylesheet information that goes with a page. This visitor is probably a human! Most robots don't bother to load stylesheets. Doing a reverse-lookup on their IP address gets a blahblah.socal.res.rr.com address, so this is probably a RoadRunner customer in southern California. You might wonder what page they were reading, what Google search brought them there. There, I could have made a good (and in this case, correct) guess based on the fact that this was a human visitor. Lately, about 80% of them have been showing up for the same page.
You might remember about a year and a half ago, I put together a list of puzzlehunt team names. I was putting together the web app that, after several changes, would become octothorpean.org and wanted to see what "funny characters" people might try to use in their team names. I shared the list up on teh internets because I'm not the only one writing these puzzlehunt web apps, and thought other folks might want to use them for a similar purpose. Hey, if you don't put some sanity checks on your web app's input forms, someone might do something silly like using the entire text of Atlas Shrugged as their team name.
The page sat around for a few months and then, uhm, something changed. I don't know what changed, I wasn't paying attention when it happened. Maybe suddenly more people were interested in team names. Maybe some Google machine-learning-driven algorithm shifted weight such that my page ranked higher. But at some point, I realized that the page was getting a lot of visits. People from around the world were Googling "team names" (or some variation thereon), clicking, and arriving at my page. Here are the top Google searches that resulted in clicks to my site for January 2013:
|team names list||1,300||700||54%||1.2|
|team names for work||2,500||700||28%||2.0|
|team name ideas||3,500||400||11%||6.4|
|group names list||600||200||33%||1.9|
|work team names||700||170||24%||2.0|
|team names ideas||1,600||170||11%||6.2|
|team names for games||500||170||34%||2.6|
|list of team names||400||170||42%||1.3|
I guess a lot of people are using the page, though not for what I originally had in mind. And take heart: if you had a hard time figuring out the name for your team, you are not alone. Plenty of other folks are scouring the internet for inspiration. Thousands of people a month, apparently.