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
What is the best _
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
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_
That pretty much covers the range of opinions.
If Donald Trump is a democrat, then what is Hillary Clinton?
Hillary Clinton is a_
Nothing to see here, move on…
How about some random advice Google?
Should I get_
a second dog
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_
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_
lose belly fat
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_
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
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_
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…