Google and cost obsessions in 50 state capitals


Click to enlarge.

Hat tip to

This seems to be completely bogus.  I apologize for posting it.  When I did the Google autocomplete for Albany, NY, I got as a first result “taxi,” as a second result “artificial insemination” and for a third result “web site.”  Not “pound of weed.”  So either the results are random, or they’re based on some bogus algorithm which is different for each person.

Americans in most states seem to be more concerned about the cost of sex, drugs, personal appearance and government services than the cost of anything else.

The map shows what Google autocomplete tells you when you do a Google search for “how much does * cost” in the capitals of each of the 50 states.

Of course the capitals may not be indicative of the states as a whole.  The top autocomplete for Albany, NY, was “pound of weed”.   When I tried it for my home city of Rochester, NY, I got “taxi” for my first autocomplete choice, “Tesla” for my second and some roofing companies at the top of my Google search.

I find these results interesting and amusing, although not proof of anything.


What Cost Is Each State Obsessed With on Fixr.   The original post, with a larger map, background details and a link to a chart.

2 Responses to “Google and cost obsessions in 50 state capitals”

  1. Perette Barella Says:

    Given how well Google knows us, I question if these are even regional; they may be individually targeted, in which case individual prior searches and clicks are driving the choices. If you’ve got cookies shut off, then it can still target based on the IP address you’re asking from. So this “study” needs to document their methodology for the results to be trustworthy.

    FTR, I get “How much does CostCo pay?”, then how much does it cost to build a house, get an abortion, get a passport or get liposuction.


    • philebersole Says:

      Based on this, I conclude that (1) Google algorithms are based on data about each of us as individuals, (2) those algorthims should not be trusted and (3) we can’t change those algorthims.

      Our surveillance society in a nutshell!


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