Figures Don't Lie

Many years ago, my Uncle Wes was listening to a political commentary on the evening news. About halfway through the piece he got up, turned the TV off and told me: "Figures don't lie but liars sure can figure" This Blog is dedicated to setting things right about a few of the numbers tossed around in today's political discussions.

My Photo
Location: Bloomington, Minnesota, United States

How old am I? Well, for much of my career, I had a secretary. And, my best secretary could take shorthand.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Google's Slow Response

When the "climategate" e-mails were first leaked from the Climate Research Unit at East Anglia, I was following the story closely and sharing with a number of friends. I was preparing an e-mail on the subject and thought I would try Googling the term "climategate". Darned if I didn't get 6000 hits on the term on the evening of November 20th. The next morning yielded 9000, November 24 saw 158,000 and by November 30th we had 13,000,000 hits.

Soon, stories started to show up in the Blogosphere (right side only) about a mysterious conspiracy at Google, however. It seems that the "auto-suggest" feature of Google was being pretty shy about helping out with the "climate-gate" idea when you started keying into the Google search engine. For example, this story at Wattsupwiththat describes the frustration many people had when typing "climateg..." into the Google search engine. By this date, late in December, Google is happy to suggest "climategate" with as little prompting as "clim"

Well, it may just be that Google is s-l-o-o-o-o-o-w to bring new terms into its auto-suggest world.

This is being posted very late in the evening of December 27. After much discussion during the 26th and 27th of the unsuccessful bombing of a Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Detroit. The result of the discussion suggested to me that "crotchbomber" might be an interesting Google term. Sure enough, "crotchbomber" gets 6,170 hits this evening. But no auto suggestions. "crotch bom" gets no auto-suggest either but, Google does get the idea - Did you mean: crotch bomber

Well, yes, I did.

And "crotch bomber" gets us 1,300,000 hits - but no auto-suggestions beyond "crotch bo" which does yield the ever-popular "crotch boils" and "crotch body odor" along with four other unpleasant suggestions.

Microsoft's Bing, in this case, doesn't even know what a "crotch" is! And only finds 84,900 hits for the full term.

Let's keep our eyes on this!

About noon on 12/29 and still no auto-suggest beyond the six stinky suggestions for "crotch bo". 1.3 million hits for "crotch bomber" and 1,240,000 for Ann Althouse's thoughtful "pants bomber". "crotchbomber" now nets us 7,910. And Bing? 88,800 hits for "crotch bomber" but still no suggestions for a plain old "crotch".

April the 22nd. Type as little as "crotc" into the Google search field and you will find "crotch bomber" as the seventh suggested completion. And what about Climategate? Well, "cli" will bring up this list:

Notice that puts it ahead of climate change or even climate.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home