Is Google Trying To Ensure Imogen Thomas Footballer Is Not Named In Autocomplete?



The case of Imogen Thomas is a apparently a big legal deal in the UK.

The old order (who *might* be unfamiliar with how the interweb works) have super injunctions out to everyone to censor the details of, and alledged doings with, alledgedly, a famous footballer in the UK. It’s apparently a very dangerous thing to even discuss.

Imogen, 28, was exposed as the married Premier League star’s mistress but he won a court order to remain anonymous. Source:

Now I don’t really care about Imogen Thomas (well, rather, I wish her the best of luck), but I thought it was curious when I typed in Imogen Thomas into Google after seeing it on the news here in the UK.

No Autosuggest

hmmmmm…… no Google suggest results? (which is a GREAT little free tool for keyword research by the way). As an seo I am used to looking at Google for little nuances but this seems like a very obvious one.

As you type, Google’s algorithm predicts and displays search queries based on other users’ search activities. These searches are algorithmically determined based on a number of purely objective factors (including popularity of search terms) without human intervention. All of the predicted queries shown have been typed previously by Google users. The autocomplete dataset is updated frequently to offer fresh and rising search queries. In addition, if you’re signed in to your Google Account and have Web History enabled, you may see search queries from relevant searches that you’ve done in the past.

Well the above statement isn’t quite true for this search…..and strange because Google does pick up minor celebs ;)

Shaun Anderson hobo Web

Perhaps nobody is searching for Imogen Thomas I mean she is a munter….

Imogen Thomas

OK, maybe not!

Right enough, looking at the Google keyword tool - plenty of people are looking for information on this former big brother contestant so you would *assume* they were looking for her now.

 

Keyword
Global Monthly Searches
Local Monthly Searches
imogen thomas 90,500 90,500
imogen thomas vid 3,600 3,600
imogen thomas pics 1,300 1,300
imogen thomas in zoo 1,300 1,300
images of imogen thomas 590 590
imogen thomas pictures 590 590
pictures of imogen thomas 590 590
imogen thomas twitter 480 480
imogen thomas 2010 390 390
imogen thomas calendar 320 320
imogen thomas zoo 2010 210 210
imogen thomas hot 210 210
hot imogen thomas 210 210
imogen thomas wallpapers 170 170
imogen thomas wallpaper 170 170
imogen thomas boyfriend 170 170
imogen thomas photos 170 170
imogen thomas zoo magazine 140 140
imogen thomas gallery 140 140
imogen thomas photoshoot 140 140
imogen thomas photo shoot 140 140
imogen thomas skins 140 140
imogen thomas zoo june 2010 140 140
imogen thomas download 110 110
imogen thomas feet 110 110
imogen thomas wag 110 110
imogen thomas photo 110 110
imogen thomas boob job 110 110
imogen thomas movie 91 91
imogen thomas skins.be 73 73
imogen thomas official 73 73
imogen thomas home video 73 73
imogen thomas images 73 73
imogen thomas dating 73 73
imogen thomas fat 58 58
imogen thomas film 58 58
imogen thomas hq 58 58
imogen thomas clip 58 58
imogen thomas weight 58 58
imogen thomas height 58 58
imogen thomas drunk 58 58
imogen thomas christmas 46 46
imogen thomas bio 46 46
imogen thomas biography 46 46
imogen thomas pool 46 46
imogen thomas youtube 36 36
imogen thomas miss wales 36 36
miss wales imogen thomas 36 36
imogen thomas zoo photoshoot 36 36
imogen thomas zoo photos 36 36
imogen thomas bum 28 28
imogen thomas swimming 28 28
imogen thomas new pics 28 28
imogen thomas model 28 28
imogen thomas bb7 28 28
imogen thomas weight gain 28 28
imogen thomas home movie 22 22
imogen thomas zoo pictures 22 22
imogen thomas measurements 22 22
imogen thomas age 22 22
imogen thomas 2009 22 22
imogen thomas beach 16 16
imogen thomas legs 12 12
imogen thomas 3gp < 10 < 10
imogen thomas underwear < 10 < 10

 

 

(Disclosure – I have edited some of that keyword data just in case because it has random famous people’s names in it who are probably nothing to do with this case…..)

Using Google trends you can see people DO search a lot for her…..

Imogen Thomas on Google Trends

So…. where is Google Suggest (or Autocomplete) results for this big brother celeb? Is this a big enough deal for Google to censor for legal reasons?

Conspiracy? Or glitch? Playing it safe? I might be missing something obvious here it has been a very…. long day….. (i wrote this last night)

But it kind of gets weirder.

I can generate a Google Suggest auto complete query for every single search of {Imogen} + {any letter of the alphabet – APART from the letter ‘T’}

Imogen s

As soon as you put Imogen T…. in Google search….. Google isn’t going to go out of it’s way to help you that much to uncover any information about her at the moment……

Imogen T

Note: If they are – they have a job on their hands…..

Imogen Thomas Footballer Named?

If Google wants to ensure it has taken measures to make sure this doesn’t become a headache for it… they might need to go further, and into other areas like Realtime etc.

*A few folks asked me if this could be the Google adult filter kicking in on some level. I did consider that, however I didn’t think her images were that adult. It could be an adult filter at work of course – though a search for say Jodie Marsh, for instance, who’s arguably more notable than Imogen and a lads mag favourite (I hear), or Katie Price for instance, or fellow Big Brother contestant Chantelle Houghton seems to activate Autocomplete – which is why I wondered about it.

*** This COULD be because she has a sex tape.

COMMENTS ON THIS POST

I’m discussing Google auto suggest here (or Google ‘suggest as you type’ search recommendations) – any comments with any names in it other than Imogen Thomas will not be published. Nor will any theories about who the ‘star’ is. I don’t care.

UPDATE: MONDAY 23 MAY 2011

So a premier footballer has been named in the house of commons. And as of today – Imogen Thomas searches on autocomplete seem to be breaking through some filters (though this could be just that the name is filtered because of her sex tape – and Google autocomplete can’t keep up with the volume of searches):

Clearly, you can see Google now auto-completes searches for ‘imogen thomas’:

Why Is Ryan Giggs & Imogen Thomas on Google Autocomplete?

Closing….

One thing’s for sure. The PR person or persons advising the premier league footballer at the centre of the Imogen Thomas on how to deal with this social media backlash are incompetent.

Disclosure – This post was just a test post – I wanted to see how trusted the Hobo blog was in Google and how it faired against the domain authority of other sites.

End result – Highest result it ranked was number 2 for “imogen thomas”- it’s currently top ten in the uk –  Nearly 50,000 visitors to this post in the last few weeks.

It looks as though this post *might* have been accurate. Google is certainly filtering the name Imogen thomas at some level. For what? Is the question…… only Google knows

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9 Responses

  1. Andrew says:

    It would be great to know the process for filtering such things within Google. Lawyers? Techs? PR? Who contacts Google and how do they do it?

  2. Nathan says:

    Interesting post, I did however notice that if you type in ‘Imogen f…’ the first result is ‘Imogen footballer’, so not totally covered up…

  3. Robert says:

    Although not specifically a SEO I thought I might add the point that several sites regarding this womens name has had threatening data on (ie: viruses, spyware etc…) maybe googles highly complex (but pretty well worked out) system has picked up these threats and has decided that they wish to protect their searchers. Just a thought.

  4. Bill Edwards says:

    Yes, Google is trying to filter her out of auto complete – it greys out as soon as you hit ‘t’. As you say, it doesn’t work. Just type the name of the premier league footballer first!

  5. Bill Edwards says:

    Trying some other names gives the same result. Jakki Degg Lucy Pinder ‘Pamela An’ sometimes greys out or gives nothing at all. Keeley Hazell is interesting – type ‘Keeley ha’ and it greys out the searches, add a ‘w’ and it wakes back up.

    • Shaun Anderson says:

      Indeed. Perhaps if you have a sex tape you have trouble ranking in Google autocomplete :)

  6. Nero says:

    i dont see why google would do that, must be a technical glitch or something. Or its possible as Robert said, Sites containing this key word and spyware etc might have triggered google’s some unknown algorithm.

  7. Joe says:

    Great report – I would like to think that this wouldn’t be a big deal for google – my thoughts are the same as roberts in that i think that google is helping to prevent searchers visiting spyware/virus prone sites

  8. Super Shhhh « The Bloom Media Blog says:

    [...] in ‘imogen thomas’ or similar. This is discussed and explained in excellent detail here by Shaun Anderson. Will Google have to be more careful about suggesting associated phrases in [...]



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