When Google Completes You Wrong

Apr 4, 2013 • 8:06 am | comments (5) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine

matt cutts Google suggestImagine you are sitting in an interview and your potential boss decides to Google your name right in front of you.

Now imagine if Google then auto-completes your name to things that might not look great. Maybe a medical condition? Maybe something you may have done when in college that you are not proud of? Maybe a conviction you had for something you did in your teenage years? Maybe it has nothing to do with you but someone else who has your name?

A Google Web Search Help thread has one person upset that when you search for his/her name up comes that he is/was bipolar.

He wrote:

I have not been able to find any work, most likely because of the auto-suggest which automatically sends anyone who types my full name to my medical information that is illegally on the Internet. I have suffered quite a bit of psychological stress from this issue, which has led me to spend quite a bit of money and time on doctors, medication, and counseling, when I could afford it.

I acknowledge that the illegal information that is on the Internet is not Google's fault. However, in my opinion, Google is partially responsible for the Auto-suggest feature, especially since there is no way to get Google to change or remove the results.

I have heard that Google has steadfastly held that they cannot change Google Search Auto-suggestions. I have faithfully waited for a year for this auto-suggest term to go away. During this time I have only used my full name only to search for my medical information, and have stayed away from "[MY Full Name] is bipolar" like the plague. Yet, it is still there.

Very sad but this is not uncommon.

Just start typing in Matt Cutts into Google and you will see things like:

  • matt cutts is a liar
  • matt cutts is a seo spam
  • matt cutts is evil

That can't be great for him to see from a search engine he helped design. But knowing Matt, he wouldn't change it or even think about changing it.

Of course, Matt doesn't need a job. It won't make him any richer or poorer to remove the results. He won't likely lose sleep over it, at least I hope not. He won't have to pay doctors to help him mentally handle the issues.

Do you think something must be done about Google Instant? If you think so, see our coverage and the video of the Google Organic Search Policy Panel.

We've covered this topic often in the past 10+ years...

Forum discussion at Google Web Search Help.

Previous story: Daily Search Forum Recap: April 3, 2013
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