The day I ran out of Google…

Put something into Google and, usually, you’ll be swamped with results. In fact, it’s a rare (and a bit weird) to get a result with only thousands of results.

This makes the searched world feel pretty big, almost too big to get your head around. Where do you start? It’s just so vast.

That’s what I thought. Before it happened… The Day I Ran Out of Google.

No more ‘Next’

See, it turns out that the people behind our favourite search engines know a bit about human behaviour. They know we don’t look at all the results, typically we only look at a tiny fraction. So why waste resources showing you results you won’t see? Simple, they don’t.

The number of results for any search will bottom-out at around 800-1000. If you keep clicking ‘next’ pretty soon you’ll see this…

…no ‘next’. You’ve reached then end, you’ve run out of Google. Well, you’ve run out of the Google you’re allowed to see.

So what?

Well, when you know the end’s in sight, you realise that seeing what people see when they search online is now possible. It’s a completely different factor of effort to examine hundreds of results to millions.

This is just great for researching the customer journey. With some time and effort, you can pretty quickly answer the question, what do people see when they search for: you, a brand, product, tip, review, price comparison…?

You can then combine this with other tools to see how many people are looking at what search terms and how this changes over time.

The result? It’s possible to get a pretty good view of what people see when they use the internet.

We use this a lot. It’s helped us:

The implications for Market Research

So something that seems impossibly vast, isn’t. It’s something that can be explored, something that will help you get a broader understanding of what influences customers. It’s something that will give you a deeper understanding and appreciation of the context in which consumers operate.

Sounds useful.


About us

We’re an insights agency that uses social data to help brands + their agencies find new opportunities for growth.

If that sounds good to you, drop us a line and we’ll get straight back to you. If you want to hear more stories from social, then sign up to our blog (As heard on social) below.

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