TechCrunch: Google says it’s eliminating Autocomplete suggestions that target candidates or voting. “Ahead of the U.S. presidential election, Google says it has taken a number of steps to improve the quality of information that it highlights across its various search and news products. Google executives outlined these changes at an online press event today, as well as in a blog post. The biggest change seems to be in its policies around Autocomplete, the feature where Google suggests a search based on what you’ve typed so far.”
Quartz: Google’s search predictions for work-related queries are a tragedy. “The Google search box is a sort of confessional for the digital age, a place to put the questions and admissions we can’t bring anywhere else in the hopes of absolution—or, better yet, an autocomplete prediction that immediately tells us we’re not the only one wondering whatever it is that compelled us to turn to the internet for answers.”
Lifehacker: Use This Modified Google Search URL to Avoid Spoilers. “Really, for any piece of media you care about, Google’s autocomplete feature is a potential minefield of spoilers, even when you’re just looking for more information about your favorite show or game and doing your very best to stay spoiler-free. Let’s fix that.”
Google Blog: How Google autocomplete works in Search. “Autocomplete is a feature within Google Search designed to make it faster to complete searches that you’re beginning to type. In this post—the second in a series that goes behind-the-scenes about Google Search—we’ll explore when, where and how autocomplete works.” Both a look at how autocomplete works and an overview of what Google is doing to get rid of crappy autocompletes.
Wired: Google Autocomplete Still Makes Vile Suggestions. “Indeed, almost a year after removing the ‘are jews evil?’ prompt, Google search still drags up a range of awful autocomplete suggestions for queries related to gender, race, religion, and Adolf Hitler. Google appears still unable to effectively police results that are offensive, and potentially dangerous—especially on a platform that two billion people rely on for information.”
Google says it is not skewing search results to favor Hillary Clinton. Danny Sullivan, at Search Engine Land, breaks down some autocomplete weirdness. “Type ‘lying’ into Google, and it will suggest ‘Lying Ted,’ the moniker US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump placed on his onetime rival, Ted Cruz. But type ‘crooked’ into Google, and it doesn’t bring up the ‘Crooked Hillary’ label that Trump has attached to his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. What’s going on?” As Danny pointed out on Twitter, a lot of the problem is Google’s non-transparency. Here is Google’s blog post about its autocomplete process.