Google’s Suggestive Archive

“Never forget that Google collects data for a commercial purpose. It is not a public archive. Besides this, the Google search engine is getting more and more ‘polluted’, coming up with useless and predictable search outcomes.” – Lovink 

As you type, Google’s algorithm predicts and displays search queries based on other users’ search activities and the contents of web pages indexed by Google. (ref)

Not everyone sees the same suggestions; it can depend on location and language.

Popularity is also a factor, but some less popular searches might be shown above more popular ones, if Google deems them more relevant. (ref)

Google Autocomplete also has what the company calls a “freshness layer.” If there are terms that suddenly spike in popularity in the short term, these can appear as suggestions, even if they haven’t gained long-term popularity. (ref)

Things about nationality (not religion though) are removed from “suggestions”, as are:

– Hate or violence related suggestions
– Personally identifiable information in suggestions
– Porn & adult-content related suggestions
– Legally mandated removals
– Piracy-related suggestions

Google has been sued a few times over problematic “suggestions”. (ref and ref)
 

The following is my experiment in our collective mindset, with “suggestions” made by the Google search engine, documented for the past three years… and ongoing.

 

 

Keywords
academia
activism
arab
arabic
body
boy
boyfriend
bush
canada
capitalism
care
catholic
chance
change
christianity
communication
control
courage
cowboy
culture
daughter
death
destiny
dude
enemy
evil
faith
fascism
faith
father
fear
female
femininity
feminism
fool
free speech
friendship
gay
gender
girl
girlfriend
god
goddess
goodness
gospel
government
grace
greed
gun
happiness
hate speech
heterosexuality
homophobia
homosexuality
hope
identity
insanity
instinct
integrity
is
islam
jew
jewish
joy
justice
labour
law
laziness
life
love
luck
lust
male
man
masculinity
mind
money
morality
mother
muslim
need
obsession
passion
peace
perception
perfection
phd
poverty
power
pride
procrastination
property
prostitution
quebec
race
racism
rage
reality
reason
religion
respect
right
sadness
sanity
satan
sex work
sex
sexiness
sexism
sexuality
shyness
sin
slavery
socialism
son
soul
spirit
terror
terrorism
thought
tom cruise
transgender
trouble
trust
want
war
woman
work
xy

References (to explore)

Murphy, Samantha 2012. How a Google Search Travels Around the World [INFOGRAPHIC] http://mashable.com/2012/06/13/google-search-infographic-2/

Beall, Jeffrey. 2010. How Google uses metadata to improve search results. The Serials Librarian 59(1): 40–53. Taylor & Francis Group. Link.

Google Autocomplete: http://support.google.com/websearch/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=106230

Blachman, Nancy and Jerry Peek. 2011. Google Guide. Part II: Understanding Results. Cached Pages. http://www.googleguide.com/cached_pages.html Posted December 28, 2011.

Google Guide. 2007. http://www.googleguide.com/google_works.html Google Help Forum. http://www.google.com/support/forum/ Google. Technology overview.
http://www.google.com/about/corporate/company/tech.html

Keen, Andrew. Interview with Siva Vaidhyanathan about The Googlization of Everything: How one company is disrupting commerce, culture, and community. SXSW. Link