What Google knows

Google has a lot of data.  It is a goldmine of search terms, records and histories yet much of this is hidden from prying eyes.  You can use Google Search Trends to look at search volumes over time (which is fun) but recently I thought I would run an experiment with Autocomplete.  Bear in mind that I did this experiment with deleted history, cookies etc.

Autocomplete is a bit more revealing.  In theory it predicts what you are about to type by returning commonly searched phrases first.  This means that in theory it will reveal the top four searches based on a fixed search pattern.

To quote Google:-

The search queries that you see as part of Autocomplete are a reflection of the search activity of users and the content of web pages

We exclude predictions about activities that could result in real-world physical harm. For example:

  •     Human trafficking
  •     The sale of drugs, weapons, and other illegal goods and services
  •     Illegal and dangerous activities, like assault and suicide


So, what can Joe Public find out?  Well, quite a lot really.  Consider these fun terms and their top results which I stuck in. The parts in bold are the fixed parts and I have seperated the top answers (top first) with commas.

how old is my house, tom jones, the queen, the earth
what is the minimum wage, time, mean, illuminati
who is the best football plater in the world, superhero, chef in the world
who is the worst football team, player
what happens if you swallow gum, miss a pill, don’t eat, eat weed
what happens if you don’t eat, seep, vote, work your notice
how do you say what is your name in french, my name is in spanish, hello in italian
how do you print screen, work out percentages, get thrush
what is the time in london, la, new york, australia
which country has the longest coastline, was responsible for the idea of the internet, has the most bank holidays, do badgers live in
where can i find my NI number, my UTR, my ip address, my apple id
it hurts when i swallow, i pee, i poop, i breathe
frustrated when studying, drawing, baby cries, baby won’t sleep
angry when drunk, hungry, pregnant, on period
where can i buy viagra, oyster card, amazon gift card, raspberry ketone
best drugs for anxiety, to try, to overdose on, films
how to make pancakges, money, loom bands, cookies
hurt my back, lower back, knee, neck
how to scam people, fifa 14, ebay, paypal
how to get rid of a cold, rid of spots, to sleep, rid of ants
how to hide your number, ip address, friends list on facebook, photos on facebook
how to open rar files, a coconut, iphone4, a jar
how to get rid of your period, belly, muffin top, love handles
i cry when im angry, i laugh, im drunk
beyonce is fake, overrated, a diva, a feminist
help with funeral costs, debt, depression, rent
broken my toe, foot, tooth, dream
dreaming of snakes, being pregnant, spiders, you
found a peanut, babt bird, dog


So how can this help government?  Well, consider these more serious searches:-

lincolnshire echo, county council, police, show
lincoln university, college, odeon, blackboard
council tax, tax bands, housing, jobs
government is the problem, good, best which governs least
governments are evil, important because, instituted, secondard stakeholders to corporations
councillor pay, troy, pensions, salary
the government inspector, gateway, inspector script, green deal
david cameron is a willy, jesus, comparing himself with jesus
how does government work, spending affect business, affect business, spending affect inflation
invest in shares, gold, me, africa
england has the worst food, weather, crime rate
england has the best music, education, teeth, bands
france has the best military record, healthcarre system, national anthem
jobs in kent, london, dubai, manchester
houses for rent in london, birmingham, manchester, liverpoool

Personally I find this a fascinating insight into what people are asking and supply versus demand.


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