Google is smart. And Google knows what you’re thinking. Soon you’ll be able to let Google do the thinking for you, but for now all it can do is help.
If you’re searching for Girl Drink Drunk, the classically hilarious Kids in the Hall sketch, it guesses your goal in two words. Or say you query “The Redhead” (in quest of Frank Bruni’s last review), Google lets you know that Google knows you’re referring to the restaurant in NYC.
Despite the eerie sensation of encroaching omniscience, Google’s search suggestions are still little more than a reflection of what we, conductors of the rumbling search engine, most often seek. The site itself explains – vaguely – that “as you type, Google Suggest communicates with Google and comes back with the suggestions we show….suggestions are drawn from…searches done by users all over the world, sites in our search index, and ads in our advertising network.” If you’re signed into your Google account and/or have your web history enabled, it also factors in your own sordid search past.
So what are we searching for? To answer the question I bring you the first weekly installment of the Google Game. Easier than Go Fish, and much more revealing: I type a word or incomplete phrase into the Google search bar and report back Google’s suggestions. Then we ruminate on our collective shame.
After the jump, Google Game Round 1.