Google Autocomplete: Testing the Pulse of the Nation?

For a while now I’ve been pretty interested in seeing Google as a sort of crude polling tool.  When you’re logged out of Google accounts, Google’s autocomplete offers search suggestions using an algorithm based on the popularity of search terms and user’s activities.  It’s interesting to see what kind of suggestions pop up for political (or maybe more abstract human psychological) searches.  Obviously this shouldn’t be seen as a precise tool for gauging public opinion, but it does offer some compelling results for consideration.

For example, if you search for “Scott Walker is” you get these suggestions:


So these are the top five most common Google queries for “Scott Walker is.” Notice that “Governor of Wisconsin” doesn’t come up.

Some interesting results come from running searches for “America,” “the US government,”  and “Republicans.”


Looking at these search results paints a picture of the US government’s legitimacy wobbling on the head of a needle.  It’s kind of exciting if you think about it.

Also interesting to consider are the mixed results when you search for “capitalism,” and “socialism.”

Some searches raise some disturbing suggestions,

You can also get a sense of the psychology of Americans which is disappointing and also kind of strange.

And this one is just kind of fun,

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