Digital Culture

Another new Google Beta

Google Suggest is a Google interface that “suggests” what you are looking for as you type. It does so using:

algorithms use a wide range of information to predict the queries users are most likely to want to see. For example, Google Suggest uses data about the overall popularity of various searches to help rank the refinements it offers.

I did notice some interesting results when challenged with “naughty” language. Evidently “blow job” is a perfectly acceptable term, since as I enter “b-l-o-w” it suggests “blow job” to me. But “fuck” doesn’t give any results…contrary to expectations. Neither does “sex” or “anal,” but “f-e-l-l” gets “fellate” as a suggestion. “B-u-t-t” gets lots of suggestions for things, but “b-i-t-c-h” doesn’t. “F-e-l-t-c” gets “feltching” as a suggestion, so I can only assume that it’s the Seven Dirty Words that are somehow depreciated in the results. “M-o-t-h-e-r-f-u” gets me “Motherfunkers” as a suggestion….somehow, not the mostly likely result.

I’ve emailed Google about the limitations, and will post the result as soon as I get one.

By griffey

Jason Griffey is the Director of Strategic Initiatives at NISO, where he works to identify new areas of the information ecosystem where standards expertise is useful and needed. Prior to joining NISO in 2019, Jason ran his own technology consulting company for libraries, has been both an Affiliate at metaLAB and a Fellow and Affiliate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, and was an academic librarian in roles ranging from reference and instruction to Head of IT at the University of TN at Chattanooga.

Jason has written extensively on technology and libraries, including multiple books and a series of full-periodical issues on technology topics, most recently AI & Machine Learning in Libraries and Library Spaces and Smart Buildings: Technology, Metrics, and Iterative Design from 2018. His newest book, co-authored with Jeffery Pomerantz, will be published by MIT Press in 2024.

He has spoken internationally on topics such as artificial intelligence & machine learning, the future of technology and libraries, decentralization and the Blockchain, privacy, copyright, and intellectual property. A full list of his publications and presentations can be found on his CV.
He is one of eight winners of the Knight Foundation News Challenge for Libraries for the Measure the Future project (, an open hardware project designed to provide actionable use metrics for library spaces. He is also the creator and director of The LibraryBox Project (, an open source portable digital file distribution system.

Jason can be stalked obsessively online, and spends his free time with his daughter Eliza, reading, obsessing over gadgets, and preparing for the inevitable zombie uprising.

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