Published March 18, 2014
Apparently thousands of people a year want to know how to hide a dead body.
Offering further evidence of just how creepy the Internet can be when it wants to be, new research from Australian search optimization agency Search Factory highlights the oddest things people search for each month on Google (GOOG).
The research was born when the Brisbane-based team started wondering how Google rates the auto-complete suggestions that pop up when typing in search queries on Google.com.
For example, simply typing in the letters “why do monk…” will produce results ranging from “why do monks shave their heads” to “why do monkeys eat bananas.”
However, after digging a little deeper, things got weird.
“Scarily, one of the factors Google auto-complete takes into account when coming up with these ‘guesses’ is how often these similar searches are conducted,” Search Factory said. “This got us thinking, just how much search volume is there for some of Google’s weirdest auto-complete suggestions?”
Warning: Do not try all of these at home.
According to data compiled by Search Factory, there’s an average of 1,000 monthly searches for “how to hide a dead body,” as well as 1,900 searches for “how to get away with murder.”
“It looks like American television writers are running out of ideas to kill off their main characters and miraculously bring them back to life again,” Search Factory joked.
A creepy 110 people a month simply search “cat dating,” while 390 people want to know how to make their cat love them. A whopping 18,100 searches on average ask whether Lady Gaga is a man, while an unfortunate 9,900 want to know “how to mend a broken heart.”
A whopping 5,400 searches a month ask “how to have an affair,” while an alarming 40,500 want to know “why did I get married?”
There are also 22,000 people who express hatred toward their jobs each month, while double that -- 40,500 -- ask for tricks on winning the lottery.
If you haven't lost your faith in humanity yet, more than 4,400 people ask Google how to Google.
As with everything Google provides, the tool uses a complex algorithm built into Google Search that uses factors such as popularity of search terms, without any human intervention.
“The search queries that you see as part of auto-complete are a reflection of the search activity of users and the content of web pages indexed by Google,” the tech giant says on its website. “Just like the web, the search terms shown may include silly or strange or surprising terms and phrases.”
Mountain View, Calif.-based Google says the auto-fill tool helps save time in searching; catch query mistakes (such as spelling Melbourne, Australia, without the “e”), and repeat favorite or recent searches.
Google confirms: “All of the predicted queries … have been typed previously by Google users” and exist on the Web.
Of course, Google does have a small set of removal policies for things like pornography, violence and hate speech -- but apparently getting away with murder is acceptable.
So, does anyone know how to hide a body?