Archive for November 12, 2008

Google this!

I was watching the news this morning while I was getting ready for work, and CNN announced how Google was bragging about being able to predict regional flu outbreaks weeks before the CDC or anybody else.  How?  Everyone that googles “flu” or “flu symptoms” or something flu related will be catalogued and if a lot of people are doing it in a certain area, Google assumes that it means there’s an outbreak in that area.

Really?  Is that really that accurate?  I mean, someone might be Googling “flu” just for the hell of it.  Or they might be looking up the bird flu, but have poor Google skills.  All kinds of shit could happen to screw up their results.

Hell, being on CNN this morning could screw up the accuracy of their information–a lot of people might be googling “flu” and “flu symptoms” simply because of that little blurb on CNN.  Just to see what comes up.  Or because they want to screw up their results.  (I’m totally doing it to screw up their results.)

Maybe people are thinking, “Hm, I wonder what’ll come up if I Google ‘flu’!  Maybe they’ll have a cool little outbreak map or something for me to look at!”  But instead, all they come up with is WebMD or something like that.  That could mess up Google’s results, right?

And that got me to thinking.  I know that they keep track of things that people Google, because sometimes I see a list of the top 10 things (or people, whatever) Googled for a day or week or year or whatever.  That makes me want to Google something completely ridiculous, like “screaming shits,” just so they’ll think, hm, why is everyone Googling “screaming shits?” Maybe we should look into that.  Is that a new popular band?  Or is it a really bad stomach virus? ? What the heck is going on?  Why is everyone looking up “screaming shits”?!?

It could be kind of fun to screw with Google.  Maybe we should all go Google nuts with bizarre screaming shit terms, or with flu searches!  I can see it now.  The flu epidemic map that they have will be completely lit up, just because people like me were little bitches and wanted to screw with Google.

November 12, 2008 at 2:13 pm 1 comment


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