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Introducing... Googlephrasing

Wednesday, March 31, 2004
by Mark Hurst

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Following up on last week's column, Google = Good Experience, this week I add another creative use of Google.

Several such Google-related activities are already in action: googlisms, google bombing, googlewhacking, and what I discovered most recently, Google Rankings.

...and I'm now going to add another Google-related activity to the list.

Introducing... googlephrasing.

It's easy. Search Google for a long, slightly obscure sentence fragment, enclosed in quotes, and then revel in the Web-zeitgeist.

A few examples:

1. Googlephrasing "i've always wanted to go to" brings back...

Boston (she has no idea why)
South East Asia
Italy (he has a huge Italian family)
San Francisco (to study ESL)
Jamaica (for a honeymoon)
The Great Barrier Reef (to go swimming there)

2. Googlephrasing "is the best movie i've ever seen in my life" brings back a range of movies - all recent, but at wildly different levels of quality: Lord of the Rings, 8 Mile, American Wedding, Moulin Rouge, Life is Beautiful, Varsity Blues, Gladiator, 1492, The Matrix, and Pearl Harbor.

On the other hand, Googlephrasing "is the worst movie i've ever seen in my life" has votes for "Girl, Interrupted", In the Cut, The Sixth Sense, Cat in the Hat, and (quite unfairly) Master and Commander.

3. Googlephrasing "surprisingly, i actually liked"...

Mozart's Symphony No. 30
Bon Jovi playing Neil Young's "Rockin' in the Free World."
the movie "Tomb Raider"
country singer Tweedy better than country singer Ferrar
the video game "The Hulk"

4. Googlephrasing "there's absolutely no reason to believe"...

...a Washington Post article about Afghanistan
...that drag racers will police themselves
...that a woman in a bank robbery was anything but a victim
...that Macs won't become "better, faster, and cheaper."

I, for one, have never doubted drag racers' integrity.

Such is the Web: eclectic, strange, and very, very random. Thanks to Google for pointing it out to us!

If you have a good example of googlephrasing, send it on over: mark at goodexperience dot com. If you want to see what Good Experience readers come up with, send a blank e-mail to and sign up!

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