Using Google to reveal what matters to us most
Dan Ariely’s blog highlights how Google’s autocomplete can be used to reveal some interesting insights about what matters to us most:
“For better or for worse, Google’s obsession with collecting and refining data has given us a window into each other’s fascinating and telling curiosities.”
Ariely’s above example suggests how automplete could be used to identify key concerns around brands or political leaders. But perhaps just as interesting is which of those phrases Ariely was searching on in the first place…
There are lots of far more funny examples, from the Guardian:
To a full blog:
What I find really interesting is these autocompletes tend to affect what people ultimately search as much as they reflect it.
As a side note: I read and interesting article today on how Google search are tackling synonyms: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/01/helping-computers-understand-language.html
Good article, thanks Rob.
Interesting that according to Google, ‘synonyms affect 70 percent of user searches across the more than 100 languages Google supports’. The challenge of ascertaining correct meaning has even spawned a print campaign for the Financial Times based around ambiguous search terms such as ‘record fall’. Fittingly, I can’t seem to find the creative through search however…