Monday, June 15, 2009

Fun With Google Images

Yesterday at work I dropped by Google Images in search of a picture of "sunday school." As with all Google applications, Google Images predicts what one is searching for by listing the most popular searches that begin with whatever letters the searcher has entered. When one types a single letter, a list of the ten most popular images searches beginning with that letter appears. It's the sort of thing I've noticed for a long time but have never paid attention to.

When I typed s for "sunday school," I was surprised to learn that the most popular Google Images search beginning with s is "selena gomez." Given the millions of names, places, and objects that begin in s, I didn't expect the most popular to be the teenage star of Disney Channel's Wizards of Waverly Place. I attribute this to 12-year-old girls who want to cover their bedroom walls with pictures of their favorite stars, 12-year-old boys looking for pictures of their latest celebrity crush, and creepy older men doing what creepy men do best.

"stars" is the second most popular search beginning with s; "spongebob" is fifth; "sexual intercourse" is sixth.

Naturally, I was eager to see what would come up when I entered other letters. Here's what I learned:

  • The three most popular Google Images searches beginning with j are, in order, "jessica alba," "jesus," and "jonas brothers." I'm sure Jesus is excited to have topped the Jonas Brothers.

  • The most popular search beginning with i is "images." I suppose that if one is searching for "images" in a database of images one won't be disappointed.

  • "miley cyrus," another Disney Channel starlet, is the most popular m search in Google Images. But "demi lovato" is only the third most popular d search, behind "dogs" and "dragon."

  • Not surprisingly, the most popular search beginning with z is "zac efron." Actually, four of the top ten z searches involve Zac Efron.

  • "hitler" is the seventh most popular h search. Google Images has nearly 5 million Hitler pictures to choose from.

  • The most popular q search is "question mark."


Anonymous Kevin said...

I don't know the math behind how Google searches work.

A couple of days ago Gavin asked if anybody had vanity googled lately and I hadn't, so I did and noticed an oddity in search results.

My name properly capitalized returned a 6th place result of a book I didn't write for UMPH. Buy your copy today. Real me didn't show until 12th place, woefully off of the first page.

My name in all lower case bumped the unwritten book to 2nd place. What gives?

Then tonight, in a re-enactment intended to explain all of this to my wife, I discovered a spike in both upper and lower case worlds, with Real Me's Facebook jumping into 5th place, in one instance ahead of non-book.

It's all very interesting.

9:19 PM  

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