By Jennifer 8. Lee | October 26, 2009
A while ago, Google introduced an auto-suggest function based on what other people commonly searched for. I have found this immensely helpful, and it gives you a peak into what other people are thinking about. (This seems obvious now, but was not so much when I wrote a 2002 article about Google’s logs).
It’s particularly interesting when you type out generic questions — of the sort of who, what, where, when, why — and how because it aggregates across all questions that begin that way.
Here is what you you when you begin typing “how long” into Google. It’s not what you think! Essentially it seems that people care about substances in their bodies, corn and pregnancy (with a shout-out to international travel).
If you type in “what is average” you see people worry about their bodies (and sex) plus intelligence (and their proxies). Theres is a to personal finances. (I still don’t understand the typo made it into the top ten recommendations)
And last, if you type in “what is,” you can see Twitter is really confusing people.
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