As Google becomes our tool of choice for our daily research on any topic, the company does a great job at collecting, archiving, structuring and analyzing their user-fed data. And at some point they come up with a cool feature called Google Suggest. Basically, when you perform a search on Google you will see a drop-down with a number of suggestions designed to make your search easier and speed it up. According to Google, the way that they provide these search suggestions is by matching up your string against other search terms typed in by users over time. Here’s how they describe it:
“As you type, Google Suggest returns search queries based on other users’ search activities. These searches are algorithmically determined based on a number of purely objective factors (including popularity of search terms) without human intervention. All of the queries shown in Suggest have been typed previously by other Google users. [...] The search queries that you see as part of Google Suggest are a reflection of the search activity of all web users. Just like the web, the search queries presented may include silly or strange or surprising terms and phrases.[...]”
You can read more about Google Suggest here: Features: Google Suggest.
Now, I thought to myself… What would happen if I type in Google the beginning of normal questions, things that you and I ask every day, and wait to see what the suggestions are…? So, I setup a new browser on a clean PC, made sure I am not logged in to have my own search activity influence the results and I started to take snapshots of the results that I got… Well, some of them are funny, some strange, and some just plain weird. Obviously I am not the first one who thought about this so I listed a few other posts below. Remember though that the search data is very dynamic so what you see today might be different than what you see tomorrow. But it’s still funny… See for yourself:
1. “Can I…”
I actually have to appreciate that somebody asked that second question. At least it shows that they are mature enough to know that dogs don’t pay alimony…
2. “Why is my…”
I wonder if those are all the possible colors?
3. “Is it illegal…”
I am not sure if killing a religious insect is illegal, but I am glad people care…
4. “What should I…”
I believe the moment you ask Google what should you do with your life is the moment where your life officially ended.
5. “Is it possible…”
What if you ask if it is possible to be happy and Google answers: No. What do you do?
6. “Why is he…”
Oh, girls, no search engine in the world will have the answers to those questions…
7. “Where can I find…”
Do you think Chuck Norris himself does that search a few hundred times a day to get it bumped into the suggestions?
8. “Where can I get…”
Why would you look for a fake ID on Google? Everyone knows – those things are only on Bing!
9. “Who is the most…”
I would’ve asked: why am I not the most googled person?
10. “Should I believe…”
Man of faith or man of science, they all look for the answer in the same place…
11. “How to prevent…”
At least cancer made it into the search alongside premature ejaculation…
12. “How can I…”
How relative is everything… For every person who wants to be taller there’s a person who wants to be shorter.
13. “Is there any…”
If there is proof that Jesus existed, I am sure it is on Google. After all, Jesus looks like an SEO kind of guy…
14. “Why are we…”
Why are we here? Doesn’t that sound like a question you ask yourself when looking at the map in the mall that points out: “You are here”?
15. “How to Increase…”
Do you think that the question about the virtual memory was asked by a computer who became self-aware?
16. “Why are people…”
I guess we’ll never know…
I hope you enjoyed it!