Feb 052013

Here’s a whimsical map of the United States done through Yahoo! Search with the autocomplete feature on. It gives a you a sense of what people say – and look for – when it comes to typing in the name of a specific State in a search engine. Google’s results are a little different, but not that far off.

Done over on the FlipCollective, here’s a description of how this autocomplete map of the United States was put together:

The following map is based on search engine autocomplete results. Autocomplete is the stuff that pops up when you search for stuff in Google or Yahoo! or AskJeeves (probably?).

For this project, I used Yahoo!’s autocomplete (Yahoo! produced more results than Google so suck it) to find out how search engine users are describing each of the 50 states. This is what Iowa’s search looked like:

Screen shot 2013-02-04 at 1.56.21 PM

I wanted the terms to describe the states, so I weeded out unhelpful results like:

  • Questions (Iowa is in what time zone?)
  • State abbreviations (Iowa is IA)
  • Leading queries (Iowa is known for…)

From there, I’d take the topmost term that satisfied my conditions and put it on the map. Behold my results: 

And what of the end results? Some of the autocomplete terms are ridiculous, but some, dead on accurate. In a way, it’s just a glimpse of the online reputations of each State, but that says something about them and us. And when you think about it, there’s a small a SEO lesson here – it’s always worth checking to see how a website title comes up with autocomplete on. Enjoy.

Autocomplete Map of United States

Autocomplete Map of United States

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