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Google "autocomplete" BBC study - How where you are affects what Google suggests



10:50 am on Sep 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member leosghost is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

The search results - even those after entering just "a" or "b" - are influenced in large part by what other users in your geographic area are looking for, according to Mark Paskin, a software engineer on Google's search team.



11:58 am on Sep 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

Hmmm...not according to the results I get, the only one I agree with is f for Facebook but even then it has the Ford NYSE share price above it.

Now what it would show to anyone logged-in with cookies enabled is another question altogether.

Robert Charlton

5:17 pm on Sep 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator robert_charlton is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

HuskyPup... where are you located? That's an important factor in the test.

I've seen autocomplete suggestions clearly localized at least since Google Instant was introduced, if not before... and in the US, suggestions are localized both regionally and very locally as you type in more.

Comparing with BBC's alphabet test...

In the San Francisco Bay Area, all results I saw were the same as BBC's, except the following particulars. In cases of disagreement, I'm noting BBC's reported top suggestion for the US, which is my country of reference, in parentheses, with notes about where it came up, etc....

L - LinkedIn (with Lowes #2) - no Lowes stores anywhere convenient to where I am

O - Olympics - also #1, consistent w/BBC study, but my guess is that several months from now that will change. Coincidentally, two local entertainment attractions, Outside Lands (a local music festival) and Oakland A's (one of two local major league baseball teams) are #2 and #3 respectively, and I suspect they too will shift seasonally

P - Pandora (Pinterest #2 - Pandora is a local Bay Area company, which might affect its popularity here)

R - Rotten Tomatoes #1 (and Redbox #2) - both coincidentally film... and otherwise interesting IMO in that the Bay Area arguably might be more interested in checking film reviews than many other US geo-areas might

V - Virgin America (with Verizon #2)

My tests logged out with cookies flushed, and exceptions checked to be consistent with a logged in browser with Search History disabled.


7:43 pm on Sep 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'm in the UK and tested it with Firefox, SeaMonkey and Opera. Just tried a-f in Firefox with Google Global extension for the USA and again nothing the same and an identical F with Ford NYSE and then Facebook.

Is no one else trying this out?

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