Googling ain’t researching

NYT Tech Columnist David Pogue made a great point in his last post. Saying “a Google search for ______ turned up ‘this many’ pages” doesn’t make something any more valid.

“A Yahoo search for ‘cheap Gucci handbags’ returned almost 1 million results,” says an article about fake goods.
Dudes, let’s get this straight: you’ll get a staggering number of hits from ANY Internet search at all! …

Once you start down this road, you’ll discover that you can prove any point at all. If you’re arguing that Microsoft tortures puppies, you could write, “A Google search for ‘Microsoft puppy torture’ returned 264,000 results,” and you’d be correct (about the results, I mean—not the conclusion).

If you want to support your assertion that Apple steals from starving Ethiopians, you could accurately write, “A Google search for ‘Apple steals from starving Ethiopians’ returned 27,600 results.”

Just a nice thing to keep in mind in that upcoming sermon, paper, or conversation.

3 responses to “Googling ain’t researching”

  1. google is a great way to check your bad spelling. a google search for alphabit has 127,000 hits…but alphabet…that has 43 million! 🙂

  2. True. I’ve used it to prove people say a phrase THIS way and not THAT way before … so I guess there are some appropriate uses 🙂

    But RC…you should really just use the spell check. It works wonders …

  3. if only my blogger had a good grammar check too. (or is that “to”???)


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