What is the ?

In the vein of “they are out to get you” I’m looking at Google autocomplete phrases in search. Is Google tailoring search suggestions to your previous searches? Are they tailoring the searches to sell you something?

For certain, Google’s autocomplete can be useful in firming up one’s search. It can also lead to endless distractions ending up reading about something completely different than what one was looking for. It also can expose you to something cool you discovered while searching for something more mundane. Let’s drop a few partial searchs in, and see what Google autocompletes with.

What is the _
price of oil
population of canada
meaning of life
zika virus

What is the best _
cell phone
dishwasher
fitness tracker
mattress

Interesting. Both my logged in ‘google knows my history’ and my anonymous search on another browser login pull the same thing, where it seems to be going just on my Canada based IP. Evidently, Canadians are interested in dishwashers. I won’t bore you with my tests of anonymous versus me searching other than to note that Google does remember recent searches and promote them to the top of your list if you search for another term containing part of a recent search. It seems to have a mild inclination to throw out stuff you never look for as a general category, but will still heavily favor generally popular items, whether you have shown an interest or not.

So, let’s see what the world (in Canada) is thinking about according to Google:

When can I _
file my taxes
see you again
apply for ei
collect cpp

Pretty sensible with unemployment shooting up quickly in these parts, and taxes being due soon. I was thinking relationship advice on the second one, but it’s a song from a movie. Anything Hollywood in the news I have NO idea what is popular or trending unless it is someone really famous doing something really big.

How about an opinion Google?

Donald Trump is a_
democrat
hero
(a)wesome
(a)dolf hitler

That pretty much covers the range of opinions.

If Donald Trump is a democrat, then what is Hillary Clinton?
Hillary Clinton is a_
democrat
corporate shill
puppet
corporatist

Nothing to see here, move on…

How about some random advice Google?

Should I get_
a dog
a second dog
window 10
bangs

Come to think of it, I do need to get my hair cut. Hmmmmm. And the ‘personal’ search version eliminated ‘tattoo’ from the list. Hmmmmm.

More clarification Google!
Why should I get_
married
a dog
windows 10
the flu shot

Google definitely wants me to get a dog, and Windows 10.

What are we obsessed with getting right Google?
best way to_
burn fat
cook bacon
lose belly fat
learn french

Evidently, we all want to be thin bacon eating french speakers. Good luck with that Canada.

What are we obsessed with avoiding?
best way to not_
get pregnant
ejaculate early
come so fast

I knew sex was going to enter the equation at some point! So, more sex, less consequences of sex. Got it.

Back to the selling question, what should I buy Google?
should I buy_
star wars battlefront
fallout 4
a ps4
oil stocks now

There is that oil thing again. Plus games, I need to buy lots of games.

Lastly teach me how to do something Google:

How do I_
get home
love thee
update kodi
apply for ei

Really – I’m a lost unemployed person quoting Liz Browning poetry trying to figure out how to update my media center. Hmmm, this Kodi thing is kinda neat – I should install it…

About ralph

Just another blog to share some thoughts with the world.
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