Judging a Book by Its Cover: What Does Your Search History Say About You?

Judging a Book by Its Cover: What Does Your Search History Say About You?

Critic collected eight stranger’s search histories and psychoanalyzed them, using an expert Geology student, to predict who searched for what. Then we checked the correct answers. Here’s how we did:

(Our speculation in regular font, correct answers in bold)

Looks like this person isn’t from around here, and online throwbacks are the only way they know how to connect with their peers. Based on the high rates of spelling mistakes, this person probably only uses YouTube on the piss, specifically to reminisce with friends. There’s a big nostalgia factor here, and it appears that this person is mentally stuck at the age of 15, potentially due to trauma. The “Medieval Dolly Parton” bit is really making this difficult, especially because it’s spelled correctly and therefore was a sober Google. The horny Twilight and Naruto searches indicate a Wattpad fanfic writer, who may be very into tentacle porn. Probably listens to The Smiths.


Drinks: Long Island Iced Teas

Studies: Zoology

Demographic: Female, 22 years old, from UK or Australia

Lives: North East Valley

Sex position: Whatever makes the guy happy

Occupation: New World Clerk by day, OnlyFans by night


Drinks: Smirnoff Cranberry Goons (specifically for UTI’s)

Studies: Science Communication

Demographic: Female, 23, from UK

Lives: In town

Sex position: Whatever makes the guy happy

Occupation: Mortician’s assistant


Has a cat, cat needs a hat, not sure what else to say besides that. Definitely artsy, possibly an older student, probably with a cat. Based on the Maneskin searches, they clearly either watched Eurovision or use Tik Tok, so they can’t be too old. Or maybe they’re just European. Absolutely clueless as to what the “Woman who looks like Buzz Lightyear” bit is supposed to indicate, but it’s worth a Google. The search history hints at someone who is art-focused, in their mid-twenties, with a good understanding of memes and a Tik Tok presence. 


Drinks: Nice gin and cheap beer

Studies: English, but wishes she went to art school

Demographic: 25-year-old woman, from Wellington

Lives: South D

Sex position: Cowgirl

Occupation: Unemployed


Drinks: Double Brown or Jaeger

Studies: Design

Demographic: 23, female, Timaru

Lives: City Rise

Sex position: Doggy

Occupation: Designer, but also Bogan 


Okay, so, after some Googling, we can be pretty sure that this is a dentist. And evidently, one with some lower back pain. The “Serein Wu facial” is just a two-hour montage of someone else getting a face massage, and the combination of “Friends Trailer” and “Dance Moms” is just about the lamest thing you could search for on YouTube. Looks like a woman’s interests. The best part of this whole thing, though, is that it looks like she spent so long looking for a 40-minute cardio routine that she had to change course and search for a 30-minute one instead because she didn’t have enough time for the full workout.


Drinks: Sparkling Seltzers

Studies: Dentistry 

Demographic: 19-year old girl from Christchurch

Lives: In a hall

Sex position: Virgin

Occupation: Personal Trainer


Drinks: Wines of all variety

Studies: Dental surgery

Demographic: 20, female, Christchurch

Lives: Studentville Flat

Sex Position: Missionary

Occupation: Receptionist



Hmm, not a lot to go off of here. The cannonball search is from a video game, so we’re going ‘male’ on this one. Potentially someone with an oil burn from cooking bacon, because he’s looking for alternatives. We suspect that this person may have been cheating at a pub quiz, based on the “female celebrities” bit. Shame on them. The willingness to continue cheating on the pub quiz further implies a male searcher, and he must be an outdoorsy one based on the fishing apparel search. Of course, this could just be an attempt to look outdoorsy. With the combo of cheating at a pub quiz, looking outdoorsy, and searching for UniFlats, we conclude that this must be an international student still here after the Covid lockdown. Not sure how you’re still here, but hope you’re doing well, buddy.


Drinks: Speight’s, in an attempt to blend in

Studies: Geography

Demographic: 22-year-old, Male, from Western USA

Lives: Studentville

Sex position: Power bottom

Occupation: No working rights on the visa


Drinks: NZ lager

Studies: Law and Stats

Demographic: 21, Male, Auckland

Lives: North Dunedin

Sex Position: Doggy

Occupation: Apple Thinner


Marble League and Handball indicate someone who is into sport, but not into mainstream sport, so potentially a male who doesn’t really vibe with the whole “sports bar” scene. There are some pretty weird entries here, too, like just the word “polygon” and the phrase “some more news”, which don’t offer a whole lot of insight. “Tujhse Hai Raabta” is an Indian drama centered around a balcony-related death, and is totally out of place, indicating an Indian influence in this person’s life, maybe even a friend or partner. The RNZ livestream search and taskmaster interest give off a ‘hipster barista’ vibe, which correlates strongly with ‘social smoker with tattoos’ and ‘roll up beanie with craft beers’.


Drinks: Redbull vodkas and Seltzers

Studies: English or MFCO

Demographic: 21-year old, male, from Wellington

Lives: NE Valley

Sex position: Doggy

Occupation: Delivereasy driver, aspires to work at Kiki Beware


Drinks: Electric Dry Hop Acid Test (nice)

Studies: Ecology with a minor in MFCO

Demographic: 20, Non-Binary, Kapiti

Lives: North Dunedin

Sex Position: Drought

Occupation: Research Assistant


Yeah so this is a weird one. Looks like someone must have been trying to settle a debate about the Cars universe, and really wasn’t backing down on the Lightning McQueen front. An obsessive personality, perhaps? Also heaps of searches for Samoan terms, so either someone who has to pronounce things in public soon and is trying to practice, or actually speaks Samoan and was just checking something. Polite, either way. Really not sure what to make of this, but now we’re concerned for McQueen.


Drinks: White wine, and lots of it

Studies: Graduated with a degree in Public Health

Demographic: 25-year old woman from Auckland

Lives: Roslyn

Sex position: She’s flexible, whatever works

Occupation: Something that involves public speaking and meeting visitors. Some sort of managerial role. Maybe at a departmental office.


Drinks: Gin and Tonic

Studies: Geology

Demographic: 24, Female, Australia

Lives: In a hall

Sex Position: Pegging

Occupation: Depressed postgrad


This person is living on the edge. Water polo, jackass, and freediving is quite the combo. The Verstappen search is about a crashed racecar, and Matty Matheson is the bastard child of a fatter Guy Fieri and Wax Mustang who is also on crack cocaine. We imagine this is a similar demographic to the searcher of these items. Classic breather, we assume. The “Archer” searches scream ‘Reddit user’, and we doubt that this person consumes even a drop of reputable news or vitamin C.


Drinks: Nitro

Studies: Commerce

Demographic: 21-year old male from Auckland

Lives: Castle Street, or close

Sex position: On top but not for more than two minutes

Occupation: Unemployed, obviously


Drinks: Craft beer

Studies: Physio

Demographic: 23, Male, Auckland

Lives: NE Valley

Sex Position: Doggy

Occupation: Physio 


This person is a doomsday prepper. Previous searches include an unsolved beheading, a campy insect-focused disaster movie, a remote Otago hut, the inner mechanics of car engines, and a video game centered on fungal zombies. “12 Monkeys” is a film about biological warfare, and “Crime Pays” is a botany-based YouTube channel run by what we can only describe as a misanthropic tattoo-covered ex-con from Chicago, who frequently advocates committing crime in order to lower your neighborhoods rent. This person clearly relishes in the triumph of nature over man. Also they’re also a big ice hockey fan. We really, really do not know why he’s searching for “sinuses”, but that’s kinda the best part. 


Drinks: Methylated spirits

Studies: Anatomy (for nefarious purposes)

Demographic: Mentally 50, physically 25, male. From Gore.

Lives: Basement of a Castle street flat. DCC does not know the property exists.

Sex position: Reproduction is a sin

Occupation: Stealing copper pipes and selling them


Drinks: Whiskey on ice

Studies: Geology

Demographic: 23, Male, American

Lives: Studentville 

Sex Position: Bound and gagged 

Occupation: Mining

This article first appeared in Issue 17, 2021.
Posted 10:50pm Sunday 1st August 2021 by Fox Meyer.