In Search Of EcoSalon: Can I Turn Back Now?

How did you originally find EcoSalon?

I’m betting you just said “I Googled you” – that synonym for “I found you in a search engine” that must infuriate Google’s competitors. Our archives now stretch back 4 years, and that’s a lot of ways to find us via selective Googling (Binging, Yahooing). That’s also a lot of different ways we’re making a first impression with you. So, what was that first impression, and how do we find out? Options abound. We could interrupt your daily reading with an annoying pop-up question, and then six months down the line, you’d find EcoSalon by searching for “annoying pop-up”. (We decided against that). A better idea? One intrepid staff member – hi there – sent into the belly of the machine in search of our most popular search engine queries.

It turns out that taking a stroll through our most-trafficked keywords is like going on an urban hike. I start firmly in our own back yard. Everyone’s talking about foods that boost your metabolism, rainforests, DIY clothes and Andy Goldsworthy – this is a good crowd. These people get EcoSalon. Some are asking what they should do on a nice day. I like that.

Then after a while, as search queries head down towards single figures, there are signs I’m in a different neighborhood. Why are people asking how to “hide your TV?” I’m trying to see that as anything but sinister and dystopian, but it’s hard. Keywords are getting a little flaky. I don’t know what half of them are. “Squid Couture,” Is that a thing? (It’s a thing).

People are starting to sound a little flaky too. Some are asking advice on getting undressed. Doesn’t everyone start with the socks and go from there? Clearly not. And there are the questions that answer themselves, like “Where does chicken breast come from?” and “How to cure a sore throat from talking too much?” I want to give these people a hug, but it’s not that kind of crowd. How much further do I have to go, EcoSalon? Guys?

We’re into the low end of single figures. I’m well out of my comfort zone. Keep walking, no eye contact. Someone is asking how to make “baby hands.” Is that the new jazz hands? Don’t dwell on it – keep walking. More hands appear: “vintage holding hands.” Aw, that’s kinda sweet – perhaps an elderly couple wading through the hedonistic mire in search of more innocent times. And then you see “mohair sex.” This is the search engine event horizon. You mustn’t Google anything from this point onwards, even if you’re really, really curious. You mustn’t. You just aren’t ready.

Threes and twos, now – the queries that only hit EcoSalon once in a wild blue moon. The fringes of internet society, the people even Myspace won’t let in. Some of the inhabitants of this area are just badly-spelled – they’ve grammatically lost their way. But the others? Kansas is long gone, Toto.

No – stop that. Pull yourself together. What’s the worst that can happen? Head down, keep walking, and I’m sure that nothing will…

“I Want A Young Rush Limbaugh.”

Sorry, EcoSalon – I’m out of here.

Images: pmarkham and country_boy_shane.

Mike Sowden

Mike Sowden is a freelance writer based in the north of England, obsessed with travel, storytelling and terrifyingly strong coffee. He has written for online & offline publications including Mashable, Matador Network and the San Francisco Chronicle, and his work has been linked to by Lonely Planet, World Hum and Lifehacker. If all the world is a stage, he keeps tripping over scenery & getting tangled in the curtain - but he's just fine with that.