Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Did you mean to vote for...

One of the nice features of Google™ is the spelling suggestion given when a search term looks like a likely misspelling. Above the search results a helpful line in red letters alerts you to a more common spelling for what your search term appears to be.

Type in 'winndows' and you get Did you mean: windows

Type in 'johnny carsen' and you're asked Did you mean: johnny carson

Type in 'conen o'brian' and you see Did you mean: conan o'brian (tho his last name is spelled O'Brien...and misspelling only his last name doesn't offer the correct spelling.)

Note that the misspelled word gets the italic emphasis. That's nicely intuitive.

You've probably also noticed the Sponsored Links in the peach shaded box above search results when the search terms scream I might spend money! Search for 'books' and Amazon jumps up begging for attention. Type in 'stereos' and Circuit City elbows its way in. But these are sponsored and not necessary suggested by Google™.

I recently did an image search for Christopher Dodd and Google™ saw it fit to make the following suggestion

Also try: john edwards

At first I thought the search engine was just throwing out the names of other candidates -- an equal time thing. So I did image searches for all the candidates I could think of.

  • barack obama -- no suggestion

  • john mccain -- no suggestion

  • hillary clinton -- no suggestion

  • mitt romney -- no suggestion

  • rudy giuliani -- no suggestion

  • fred thompson -- no suggestion

  • bill richardson -- no suggestion

  • john edwards -- no suggestion

  • tom tancredo -- no suggestion

  • ron paul -- no suggestion

  • sam brownback -- no suggestion

  • dennis kucinich -- Also try: dennis kucinich wife elizabeth kucinich

  • Much as the spelling suggestion italicizes the respelled word, the additional or changed term gets bolded in these suggestions.

    These "Also try" offerings only work in the image search. I can imagine that most searchers would appreciate images of Elizabeth Kucinich more than images of her husband Dennis. And I can imagine that searches for images of Elizabeth are more common than searches for images of Dennis. But what's going on with Dodd→Edwards?

    Is politics really all about the hair?

    1 comment:

    Thanks for reaching out.

    You can also contact me at wishydig[at]gmail[d0t]com.