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We’ve all done it – perhaps early in the morning when putting off waking up, or perhaps when at work putting off... erm... work. Maybe you won’t admit it to your friends, but we’ve all done it.

It’s nothing to be embarrassed about. It’s ok. I do it too.

Maybe it’s a “wisdom of the crowds” thing, or a “wikinomics” thing. Or maybe just a lazy way to make sense of this crazy online world in which we live.

In this post, I undertake some serious investigative online journalism to find out what the internet actually thinks about the internet, using Google search’s fancy auto-fill tool.

Read on – it just may change your life.

Google is...

Google is...

Starting things off, let’s be real – Google is not God. Now, I’m not going to start a long philosophical discussion about whether or not there is a supreme being, that’s what Fox News is for. 

However, apparently, Google is an undefined friend. Sort of like that friend on Facebook who changes their name to something mega hipster-ish, so they can show the world how unique and cool they are, only you can’t remember who they are and wind up unfriending them. Speaking of which...

Facebook is...

Facebook is...

STOP PRESS! Facebook is down! How on earth will you be able to see what your long lost friend from primary school is doing?

But clearly, the one to notice here is the misguided notion that “Facebook is dying.” 

I mean, it was just yesterday that they released their annual results, including $791m profit (not bad) and share prices hitting an all-time high. Plus, 62% of Facebook ads are now being served on mobile. (Source: Wall St Journal)

So, perhaps God Google missed this one.

Twitter is...

Twitter is...

2009 and 2010 was the golden age of Twitter, where you could pick up followers by tweeting about your super awesome thoughts on a daily basis. 

Times have changed, and Twitter has been usurped by both brands and celebrities. While Twitter claims it has played a fundamental role in social change (i.e. the Arab Spring,) there’s still those Nigerian girls who #arestillbeingheldhostage. 

Whether or not it’s better than Facebook, well, that’s another question. I like Twitter for the quick, ever-changing access to pictures of cats, but I like Facebook for the algorithmically optimised access to pictures of cats.

LinkedIn is...

OK, thanks Google, that’s helpful.  I would also like to point out that cats are not dogs, up is not down, and that email is not dead

Big Data is...

Remember when memes were restricted to East End or Brooklyn hipsters who were so much more ironic and witty than the rest of us? Then hipsters joined LinkedIn, and I rue the day that happened.

Now, LinkedIn newsfeeds are filled with sort-of-funny memes that really make us stop and think about the world around us.  Like the “Big data is like teenage sex” meme, which says something like:

You get nekkid in your parents’ basement with a young lady and then mom comes in without knocking and you still, to this day, cannot ever mention that fateful night to her.

(That happened to my friend, let’s call him... erm... “Larry.”)

Anyways, whether Big Data is bullsh*t or not, that’s beside the point. It probably is the future, and if it’s not, well, at least there’s always teenage sex. No wait, can’t make jokes like that in Britain these days.

Selfies are...

I’d like to personally give a heartfelt “screw you” to Ellen DeGeneres. Ellen, I know you’re reading this. Screw you.

Why? Because you made the selfie happen everywhere. I get it, you were paid a bunch of money by a phone manufacturer to picture a bunch of beautiful people at the Oscars. And now, everyone is doing it too, unfortunately, it’s not restricted to just the beautiful people.

The thing about the selfie is this: it is creating an online culture of unfounded megalomania. The personas we create on Twitter, Facebook and the like are not our true selves. You never see someone post their real problems in life (unless, of course, they’re seeking sympathy). These platforms have allowed us to create our “ideal” selves, which are usually quite some distance from our real selves.

Life, according to our social profiles, has ceased to give us lemons. All we get now is lemonade. And rainbows. And unicorns. 

I, for one, hope the internet has reached “peak selfie.”  However, I suspect this is not the case, and that we’ve got many more years of people showing us how amazing their lives are, so amazing in fact that they can’t find a friend to take their picture for them.

Programmatic is...

Nom nom nom! Programmatic is clearly the modern version of the Cookie Monster. I guess so, in the sense that it often needs cookies to survive (ZING!).

But, this shows something else interesting. It shows the confusion that persists in digital advertising around programmatic trading. Is it a strategy? Sort of. Does it work? Sometimes. Is it a word? Well, according to the Oxford English Dictionary it is.

I, for one, think there’s a huge opportunity to combine machine learning with all sorts of marketing channels, with online media buys being one of the early movers. However, until there is a unified understanding of what programmatic is, well, the advertising world won’t be eaten just yet.

Check out Ben Davis' beginner's glossary of programmatic advertising for a run down of some key terms.

Lots of things are...

SEO, email marketing and PPC are all dead. Or they’re not dead. Or they’re misspelled. 

Instead of buying in to this tripe, here’s a clip from Weekend at Bernie’s.  Even when something is dead, all you need is a couple of local ne’er-do-wells to prop you up. Oh, hello, SEO, email marketing and PPC agencies! 

(Kidding!  Love you dudes!)

Content marketing is…

Well, luckily, at least content marketing isn’t dead. In fact, it’s apparently SEO’s grave-digger. And apparently it’s the only form of marketing that matters anymore.

I particularly like the bottom one – because, well, content marketing isn’t new. Do you remember the good old days, when “content marketing” was called “marketing?”

The only thing that’s different now is the ability to produce more content and distribute it across more channels. But, like a stupid monkey once wrote, “It was the best of times, it was the blurst of times...”

There is an over-supply of average content, and an under-supply of quality content. This has resulted in apathy towards “free guides” and “whitepapers” and “reports.” 

To make matters worse, what’s happened in the last few years is numerous types of agencies have rebranded themselves as “content marketing agencies.” 

First there were SEO agencies, then PR agencies, and then contract publishers. And now, content marketing is the dream! 

But I’m pretty sure it’s been around for quite some time, and that it’s nothing new. 

Take, for example, a book I heard of that’s about Google God. It was written hundreds of years ago and has been used to promote the beliefs, morals and parables to billions of people since. 

For sure, content marketing is new, it’s science.

Cookies are...

Well done Brussels: you’ve done the impossible. You’ve made all of Europe’s online experience worse with the passing of one stupid law!

Remember the good old days, say April 2013, when you could look at a website with ignorant impunity?  Now you can’t, and most sites have annoying pop ups asking you to accept cookies.

This search shows the confusion this law has caused. Consumers aren’t aware of what cookies do, and as a result this law has hardly made the internet a safer place. 

So thank you, Brussels, for proving that, despite public opinion waning against the European Union, you continue to pass laws that restrict good, honest capitalism.

Responsive Design is...

Know what else is hard? Nuclear physics, curing cancer, and ending world poverty.

Web designers, I feel for your plight. Perhaps we should start a subsidiary called “CFWD,” or the “Care and Feeding of Web Designers,” because we all can sympathise with the struggles you face in this cold, hard world. 

Windows is...

Clearly very good at adding one word onto things.

iPhones are...

Boring garbage. Sort of like the time I threw out the DVD commentary for The Hangover Part III.

Panda is...

Erm... Google: Aren’t you worried about this clear case of trademark infringement, especially on your own site?  

Wikipedia is...

What? 10,000,000 college students can’t be wrong.

Hashtags are...

#NoNeedToBeHomophobicGoogle

Tinder is...

Whatever happened to dinner and a movie?

Yo. is...

I had no idea this simple app that does nothing but send “Yo’s” would turn into a charged political debate on racial & sexual equality, and dried grapes.

The internet is for...

Well, they left out “gambling” and misspelled “porn,” but yeah, this about sums it up.

Any I’ve left out?

Chuck your own into the comments below.  Do it, or you’ll make Google angry, and you wouldn’t want Google to strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger, now, would you? 

Parry Malm

Published 25 July, 2014 by Parry Malm

Parry Malm is the CEO of Phrasee and a contributor to Econsultancy. Connect with him on LinkedInTwitter or Google+.

23 more posts from this author

Comments (21)

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Kate Gowers

Kate Gowers, Principal Digital Consultant at Ogilvy&Mather UKEnterprise

What I think is telling is that cookies and pandas no longer seem to be (according to Google - or your Google anyway) tasty snacks and cute, endangered animals but something else entirely.

Now I want a cookie.

almost 2 years ago

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Ted Richardson

Is this one of the "guest posts" from someone who works for ruddy BUZZFEED!

I expect better Econsultancy... We're your regular writers having a day off?

I give this article a B-

Love

T

almost 2 years ago

Parry Malm

Parry Malm, CEO at Phrasee Ltd.

@Ted fair play... I was mostly just having a bit of fun.

But - also - when considering your marketing channels and whatnot, how people perceive the individual channels does indeed matter. So while the delivery is perhaps "buzzfeed-ish" the actual outcomes are useful...

almost 2 years ago

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Claudia Logan

You lost me at 'that's what Fox News is for'...really? Not germane. Oblique. Facetious. Childish. And, well, wrong. So you skewed my perception of your premise by opening with a false premise. Nice job.

almost 2 years ago

Parry Malm

Parry Malm, CEO at Phrasee Ltd.

@Claudia Thanks for taking the time to read and leave a comment! Can't please everyone all the time but appreciate your feedback nonetheless.

This blog was meant to be a bit of fun, while also making a few interesting points about what we can learn from common search terms of popular internet products. I guess I'd say not to take it too seriously, but if you want to take it seriously, well, be my guest! :)

almost 2 years ago

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Ted Richardson

This article is so badly written if it were a movie and it was being played on my long haul flight... I'd get up and leave.

almost 2 years ago

Parry Malm

Parry Malm, CEO at Phrasee Ltd.

@ted thanks for taking the time to read it and comment twice! That's dedication.

I kind of feel like your one liner was not quite expressing how bad this article is, but that's cool, I appreciate the effort.

I've taken the liberty of thinking of a few other options to save you the trouble:

This article is so badly written, were I an activist id commission a series of commemorative buttons stating how badly written it is

This article is so badly written that id rather clean all the toilets in Waterloo station with my tongue than read another word.

This article is so badly written id rather comment on blogs about how badly written it is than write a better one myself.

Haha. Anyways, thanks again for taking the time to comment. Please feel free to avoid my future blog posts, I mean, clearly click bait works, even on you :)

Love
P

almost 2 years ago

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Ted Richardson

Although this article was so badly written;

If I had eaten a full bowl of alphabet spaghetti and after forced myself to throw up, got an intern to transcribe letter by letter the contents directly from my marble floor I think it would still be better than what you have come up with :-(

Perry M8 I'm having a laugh dude. I like the time you took to research and write up this article

Love,

Tel

almost 2 years ago

Parry Malm

Parry Malm, CEO at Phrasee Ltd.

@ted clearly your comment was awful but:

Id rather transmorph into a fly and have a seven year old, spawn of satan sadist, pull my wings off, then take my flightless body and ritual sacrifice it to a tribe of fly-eating savages who regurgitate semi digested fly and then poop on it.

It's cool bro - I enjoy the banter! Much more interesting than "oh wow great article." All comments meant in jest and mutual respect of course! (I'm self employed, I don't need to preface my comments with "views are my own...")

Have a good weekend man! You bastard!!! :)

almost 2 years ago

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Ted Richardson

Have a good WE too mate.

Loved the bants.

Best

Ted

If you need me.... I'll be at the bogs over in Waterloo station.

almost 2 years ago

Parry Malm

Parry Malm, CEO at Phrasee Ltd.

@ted if you ever meet my mom in a dark alley, you're f*cked son!

https://twitter.com/parrymalm/status/492774263829852160

(Same woman who caught my friend Larry btw...)

almost 2 years ago

David Hachez

David Hachez, Owner at The After scrl

Should be "22" in the article: http://bit.ly/1nxWMki
;)

almost 2 years ago

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Raj

Interesting one. I never knew these things about google search results. Amazing. Machine will always be machine.

almost 2 years ago

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Loughman

Hi there just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let you
know a few of the images aren't loading properly. I'm not sure why but I think its a linking issue.
I've tried it in two different browsers and both show the same outcome.

almost 2 years ago

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Saenz

First off I want to say fantastic blog! I had a quick question which I'd like to ask if you do not mind.

I was interested to find out how you center yourself and clear
your thoughts prior to writing. I have had a tough time
clearing my thoughts in getting my ideas out there.
I truly do take pleasure in writing however it just seems like
the first 10 to 15 minutes are usually wasted simply just trying
to figure out how to begin. Any ideas or tips? Kudos!

almost 2 years ago

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Holly

I don't care if it's Buzzfeed-ish. That was a very entertaining read. Thank you.

almost 2 years ago

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Clendinnen

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way? I've a project that I'm simply now running on, and I have been at the look out for such info.

almost 2 years ago

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Warkentin

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My website goes over a lot of the same subjects as yours and I feel
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feel free to shoot me an e-mail. I look forward to
hearing from you! Excellent blog by the way!

almost 2 years ago

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almost 2 years ago

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almost 2 years ago

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almost 2 years ago

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