2005-03-09

Straight softcore

No, this post has no sexual content whatsoever. Sorry to disappoint you guys. Straight softcore was the suggestion I got from Google when I mistyped straight softare. If you seach only softare, you get the correct suggestion. But with some other word, it might become more risqué. The cause is obvious. The typo correction/suggestion system is heavily based on common searches and maybe tracks sucessive failed (or nearly failed) searches. As porn is ubiquitous and people are always looking for it, that is what you get. If one pushes a little more, one can say that Google wants you to go for porn. Of course, it is just an odd result and probably useful for some (most?) people.

But I have the impression in this case that their algorithm went too far. The spelling is not that close and straight software gives you way more hits (without quotes) than straight softcore. For me, this is one of the tradeoffs of a frequency based algorithm that we have to live with. As long as Google does not automatically corrects your typos, that should be ok.

2 Comments:

Blogger W1ll13 30% Hacker said...

In LO's defence, I attempted to duplicate the experiment, and I achieved identical results.

10:11 AM  
Blogger The Neologiac Spooneristocrat said...

I too attempted to duplicate the experiment (a few weeks too late, though), and the first Google result is...LO's Expling post. Hah. Beware (and I'm always saying Beware about this): any discussion of Google search-results kills experimental duplicability.

12:55 AM  

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