Each morning I try to decide what to write about and the topic is often presented to me by my surroundings. Most often, the answer comes from one of the many web sites that I frequent, but today was a little different. As part of my morning routine, I listen to The Rod Ryan Show on TheBuzz.com and today one of their topics was “funny things that come up as suggestions in Google Search” I had seen a few screen shots of these funnies before, but never really spent any time reading them.
What is a Google Search Suggestion?
Google says “As you type into the search box on Google Web Search, Google Suggest offers searches similar to the one you’re typing. Start to type [ new york ] — even just [ new y ] — and you’ll be able to pick searches for New York City, New York Times, and New York University (to name just a few). Type some more, and you may see a link straight to the site Google thinks you’re looking for — all from the search box.” Simply put, Google tries to help you find what you are looking for.
I’ll be honest. I rarely stop typing long enough to look down at the suggestions and see what Google has to offer. As it turns out, the suggestions are very helpful, but who or what is making these suggestions? According to a Google support web page, suggestions come from:
- Searches you have already done (assuming you are signed in to your Google Account and have Web History enabled)
- Searches done by users all over the world
- Sites in the Google search index
- Ads in the Google advertising network
Suggestions Turn Into Amateur Hour
A strange side-effect of the Google Search Suggestion has been the comic relief that comes from the searches other people perform. In fact, the results have created a huge following and several sites have been created simply to bring you the best of the suggestions. At the top of the list, you have Is Google Making Us Dumber?. They have hundreds of entries and post a new one (or several) each day in the form of a blog. So, if you like what you see and want to check back, just begin following the feed or add the site to your favorites.
Other Sites With Funny Google Search Suggestions:
- Seriously Google?
- 25 Funny Google Search Suggestion from HolyTaco.com
- funny: GOOGLE search box suggestions
- Top 10 Funniest Google Suggest Results
The Future of Google Search Suggestions
If you can get past the comical side of Google Search Suggestions, you’ll find a wonderful tool that will really save you time and lead you to things (sites, results, links) that you didn’t even think to look for. I am sure Google is working to improve these results in a standard browser, but they have also taken suggestions to mobile devices. Yesterday, Google rolled out an improvement to the iPhone and Andorid devices that provide locally relevant suggestions. In other words, the geographic point of reference will be the phone’s location and the results will be catered to that location.
The Google Mobile Blog explains “when users in the Boston metro area begin typing “Muse”, suggestions such as “museum of science boston” and “museum of fine arts boston” are provided because people near Boston frequently look for these very popular museums. On the other hand, users in San Francisco who begin their query with “Muse” will see suggestions for museums in the San Francisco area.”
I checked my G1 (an Android device) a few minutes ago and the new feature was indeed available for use. So, if you have an iPhone or Android device, try the following:
- Go to google.com on your phone’s browser
- Start typing a query to see the new location-optimized suggestions
- Make sure you have turned on “Save recent locations” and “Allow use of device location” under the Settings link on the google.com home page