Looking Closer at How We Google
Hey, ever used Google? Yeah okay, don’t answer that.
But anyway, you’ll notice that Google offers up suggestions when you begin typing in a search term. I’m not sure the exact science behind this process, but it’s a good bet that they are indicative of the most relevant or frequent searches stemming from whatever characters you’ve inputted. Recently I’ve found some surprising auto-finishes in the top spot when searching for stuff, and it raised some unexpected insights into what people on this planet search for.
It’s safe to say that if your brand corners the market on a numeral, you’re in pretty good shape as a business or product. So hats off to to the following, all of which are the first auto-suggest in Google (at least for me–I think, depending on your cookies and location, you might get different results…but sound off in the comments if you do!)
(1) The unbearable CW drama ‘One Tree Hill’ (if you type out ‘one’) and NYC radio station 1010 WINS (if you type ’1′).
(2) ‘Two and a Half Men’ and ’2010 calendar’
(3) Three Village School District (in Long Island, apparently…) and NBC’s ’30 Rock.’
(4) The mobile start-up Foursquare and 4Chan, an image-based bulletin board.
(5) Five Guys burgers & fries and the movie 500 Days of Summer.
(6) Six Flags amusement parks and ’60 Minutes.’
(7) The mathematical equivalence of seven pounds=3.17514659 kilograms (which strikes me as an odd weight to be so frequently searched) and 7-zip, a Windows file archive program. Assuming the seven pounds thing is some sort of algorithmic glitch, next would be Seventeen magazine.
(8) The show ‘Eight is Enough’ and 880 AM, another NYC radio news station (this one plays the Yankee games too).
(9) Nine West shoes and handbags and 92.3 FM, yet another NYC radio station, this one a hit music station (anyone else remember when this used to be KRock?). Regarding these radio stations, it’s probably that Google auto-fill function is somehow geographically targeted, and that’s why I’m getting a lot of New York auto-fills. Or it might just be that New Yorkers listen to a lot of radio (generally speaking, more people listen to radio than you might think).
So what do we learn from all this? Mostly that people love to search for entertainment. Google Trends confirms it, with a current top 10 that consists mostly of entertainment topics, albeit with a smattering of current affairs. As of the moment of writing (this stuff changes really quickly):
1. calista flockhart ['cause she just got married to Harrison Ford]
2. rock band 3 ['cause it just came out]
3. small people ['cause BP continues to put its big, oily foot in its mouth]
4. harrison ford [see #1]
5. nba game 7 ['cause it's going to freaking rock and the Lakers are going to lose]
6. iphone 4 pre order [duh]
7. world cup spain ['cause Spain lost in a big upset]
8. raavan [an upcoming Hindi film, apparently]
9. oval office ['cause we have a president]
10. 3ds [Nintendo's upcoming handheld device]
Last but not least, some of the more noteworthy Googlisms:
“average” gets you an autofill of “average penile length” (Very delicately put, Google–something tells me this is pretty sanitized. But that’s understandable, I suppose…if autofill and Google trends hewed to what people were really looking for, most of what’d be presented would be dirty)
“I don’t think” gets you “I don’t think, so Tim,” which is the catch phrase of Al Borland from ‘Home Improvement.’ Really, America?
“demo” doesn’t get you “democracy” or “Democrats”–at least, not first. #1 auotfill goes to “demonoid.” Thanks a lot, geeks!
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