The Londonist recently put together a map based on what happens when Google completes a query as you are typing it. Here's the map, courtesy of Londonist:
And here's a link to the original published article: An Autocomplete Guide To London
Before you get up in arms, notice that the map is uncomplimentary for most areas and at least Wood Green wasn't classified as "a dump" like many others. Intrigued, I tried it my myself. Here are the results I was given -- in order of popularity.
Wood Green is it safe
Wood Green is in which county
Wood Green is in zone
Wood Green a dangerous area
Granted, two out of four are uncomplimentary, but there's no mention of "horrible." BTW, I typed in Wood Green, leaving off the word "is" and the first result to come up was
Wood Green Banksy
Which leads me to my question: Are Web searches naturally negative? I would think that people searching for Wood Green would be looking for shopping, real estate, or perhaps Wood Green Animal shelter, but none of these results came up under autocomplet. They were, however, highly represented in actual search results.
According to an article in the Huffington Post, residents of Walthamstow have taken umbridge at the map. As residents of Wood Green should we also? Londonist clearly states that it's all a bit of fun so perhaps we have more of a sense of humor, or perhaps we slightly agree. Wood Green High road is certainly no beauty spot, but Noel Park, right behind it has the potential to be really lovely.
Instead of protesting to the press, as Waltamstow residents seem to have done, perhaps we should try some guerilla tactics to improve the way Wood Green comes up in autocomplete. Maybe we should all start querying positive phrases under Google, just to see what happens.
What do you think? Is it a silly waste of time or a way to improve the reputation of Wood Green? I'm going to post the phrase "Is Wood Green really Horrible?" on twitter and see what response I get. I'll update this post with my results. In the meantime, please share your views.
I said I'd report back, so here's my findings so far: About four people re-tweeted my suggestion and one went even further, saying she loved the idea of doing loads of positive searches. Coupled with the hard silence on Noel Park net, I'm thinking that's a pretty low response and that nobody really cares. Am I right?
I tried the search this evening and got the same results for "wood green is," however, a search for "wood green" brought up interesting results in this order:
wood green starbucks
wood green tinseltown
wood green vue
I already know that twitterers are in a big lather about Tinsel Town. Yesterday I saw a whole crowd taking pictures of the Tinsel Town storefront. But even they couldn't resist adding some negitivity to their frenzied anticipation of hamburgers and milkshakes. Why?
In the meantime, I'll continue to try to change the reputation of Wood Green, one Google search at a time.
I like the idea of beating google at its own game and changing the results, but it would have to be co-ordinated...Wood Green is great? Wood Green is...
Any idea how many searches before it makes a difference??
Good point. I like Wood Green is great.
Here are a few off the top of my head:
Wood Green is vibrant?
Wood Green is up and coming?
Wood Green is convenient?
What does everybody think? Should we just pick one and go with it?
I hear crickets.