Mar 242010
Authors: Ryan Gibbons and Glen Pfeiffer

With the advent of the Webby Awards and the YouTube Awards to showcase Internet content, we have come up with our own idea to feature Internet content –– and it comes straight from the masses. You could call it the next generation of the People’s Choice Awards. It’s the People’s Query Awards.

If you don’t know what we’re talking about, pay attention. Head over to, and start typing a few letters into the search box. Google will try to autocomplete your search based on what millions of other people were searching using Google. Some of the suggestions are quite entertaining.

We’ll break the first six awards into the categories of Who, What, When, Where, Why and How. Remember, winning an award indicates that these are some of the most searched for questions on the Internet.

The Who

This award goes to those searching for “Who is Lady Gaga?,” the 10th most searched for phrase beginning with “Who.” We weren’t aware, but apparently you can use the Internet as a shovel to dig your way out from the rock you’re living under.

The What

This award goes to people looking for “What celebrity do I look like,” the second most popular Googled phrase starting with “What.” Moments later Google’s face-recognition activates. No webcam? No problem. Just get your face as close as you can to the screen and stare deeply into the “oo” of the Google logo.

The When

This award goes to No. 9 for “When will I die?” Everyone is so worried about storing medical records online and whether Google is the best site to host such data, but the ease of access it provides for such things like your own death date makes the risks all worth it.

The Where

This award goes to “Where does Justin Bieber live?,” which is sitting pretty at No. 10 for phrases starting with “Where.” Now before you go getting any ideas, we’d like to remind you that he’s only 16, and come on, we can’t even tell if it’s him or his sister singing the songs.

The Why

This award goes to the No. 1 query of people looking for reason in the universe, “Why can’t I own a Canadian?” We’ll just let you investigate why this is an issue on your own. We’ll let you know right now that it’s not because Canadians are out of stock.

The How

This award goes to the 7th most popular search: “How to solve a Rubix cube.” Now before you spend all the time to read the instructions let us walk you through it with three simple steps. 1. Set the cube down and head outside. 2. Lay down and start soaking up a little sun. 3. Realize how much more fun you’re having not solving a Rubix cube.

With a little searching on your own, you’ll find plenty of laughs, especially if you start to try prompting Google with two or three words instead of just one.

On a more serious note, there is an easier way to look at the big picture in terms of topics that are making for popular Google searches. Google Trends is a site lets you take a look at what people have been searching the most on a daily basis. For example, recently “When A Man Loves a Woman lyrics” –– don’t ask us why. 

You can take a look at Hot Topics, a list of the top topics being talked about on places like Twitter and news sites. Unsurprisingly, “Netanyahu Obama” tops the list. You can use this handy feature to not only stay up to date on current events, but also important Internet trends.

This concludes this week’s People’s Query Awards, (we could do this every week, but we won’t). So come join us at the after party. Location TBA. 

Columnists Ryan Gibbons and Glen Pfeiffer invented the box and whisker plot in a past life. Send your comments/questions to

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