Like hoover and Kleenex, Google has managed to achieve that hallowed status of trade names that have become synonymous with a product. Moreover, it has also managed to verbify itself (I can’t have made that word up – I bet it’s in Shakespeare somewhere). And for those engaged in due diligence checks of any sort (initial verification, ongoing monitoring, staff vetting, self-aggrandisement), it’s the first port of call.
I was therefore delighted to get a particular email from a friend in Guernsey. I will quote: “One of my colleagues was just searching on Google for your blog and we were quite amused by the Google suggestions which came up when we were typing into the tool bar”. I’ll give you a moment to try it yourself:
- Go to google.co.uk so that you have the blank screen with the search box in the middle.
- Type “i hate” into the search box – among the suggestions given at this early stage, we have “i hate my job”, “i hate my life” and “i hate my teenage daughter” [you might have slightly different suggestions coming up, which frankly tells us all we need to know about you]
- Now go further and type “i hate mo” – I’m now being offered “i hate mondays”, “i hate morrissey” [too true] and “i hate most people” [not at all true]
- Finally try “i hate money la” – and here we hit the right option, plus something of an unexpected wild card: “i hate money lady gaga”. I’m not sure what to make of this, as I am entirely neutral with regard to Ms Germanotta – although given the recent headlines about the health dangers of processed red meat, she might want to rethink that beef dress of hers.
But all of this jollity does put me in mind of an article I read recently about spotting staff fraudsters by monitoring their emails for tell-tale phrases. Apparently the ones to look out for are “cover up”, “off the books”, “grey area” and “no-one will find out”. Perhaps we could apply the same logic to monitoring people’s searches: someone whose search engine consistently throws up suggestions about hating compliance and killing MLROs might be worth watching….