BLOG – Google Auto-Complete: What the Internet Thinks About Hong Kong 9


Although unscientific, Google’s ‘auto-complete’ feature can be quite revealing. When the search engine’s algorithm automatically ‘suggests’ terms as we type, it gives us an idea about what others are Googling and how often. Below are a few insights into what the internet thinks of Hong Kong…

The same search for ‘Hong Kong guys/men’ yielded no auto-complete suggestions.

Notice any other anomalous, amusing or politically incorrect results? Drop them in comments below. Your auto-suggestions may differ from above as Google tailors results based on your account – for an accurate picture, clear your cookies, sign out of Google or use an ‘incognito window’.

To view all content and entries posted on the blog, click here. Some other highlights include…

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  • Interesting, but I believe the results are customized based on your own location and possibly your search history, hence what you’re getting is not what others get for the same searches. (For example, if I type “Hong Kong is” in the eastern United States, my results are “a country”, “part of China”, “home”, or “the capital of”.)

    Strange that you also get a lot more results than I do; I’m capped at four using Google’s own Chrome browser on a Windows machine.

    • Tom

      It’s true Google tailors results based on your browsing history. These above are accurate as they’re derived from searching from a Chrome ‘incognito’ window. To see more than four results, ensure you’re visiting google.com

      • I am indeed visiting google.com; they only give me four results regardless of whether I use Chrome or Internet Explorer. Perhaps they vary that based on platform, resolution, geolocation, or some other variable.

        And they do tailor based on location, as well. I’ve tested side by side with family and colleagues in other states / countries, and gotten totally different search results and suggestions for the same search, in an incognito window at the same time as each other.

        I’ve also heard speculation that they tailor based on your IP’s search history, even if in an incognito window, although I’ve not seen that proven either way.

        • Chi

          I’m pretty sure Google does tailor your result base on your IP, i often get different results when I use VPN to access Google (For serious work stuff and not dodgy business)

  • Interesting, but I believe the results are customized based on your own location and possibly your search history, hence what you’re getting is not what others get for the same searches. (For example, if I type “Hong Kong is” in the eastern United States, my results are “a country”, “part of China”, “home”, or “the capital of”.)

    Strange that you also get a lot more results than I do; I’m capped at four using Google’s own Chrome browser on a Windows machine.

    • Tom

      It’s true Google tailors results based on your browsing history. These above are accurate as they’re derived from searching from a Chrome ‘incognito’ window. To see more than four results, ensure you’re visiting google.com

      • I am indeed visiting google.com; they only give me four results regardless of whether I use Chrome or Internet Explorer. Perhaps they vary that based on platform, resolution, geolocation, or some other variable.

        And they do tailor based on location, as well. I’ve tested side by side with family and colleagues in other states / countries, and gotten totally different search results and suggestions for the same search, in an incognito window at the same time as each other.

        I’ve also heard speculation that they tailor based on your IP’s search history, even if in an incognito window, although I’ve not seen that proven either way.

        • Chi

          I’m pretty sure Google does tailor your result base on your IP, i often get different results when I use VPN to access Google (For serious work stuff and not dodgy business)

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