how to tie a tie — 45,700,000 results
how to kiss — 59,400,000 results
how to get pregnant — 13,900,000 results
how to lose weight — 17,900,000 results
how to make a website — 276,000,000 results
how to write a resume — 9,620,000 results
how to draw — 41,200,000 results
how to solve a rubix cube — 572,000 results
how to write a cover letter — 8,120,000 results
how to get a passport — 9,150,000 results
(I got the "results" counts for each item with the same "search completion API" used by the search bar -- those numbers are returned by Google, but not normally shown in the search bar.)
Geeks reading this will notice that the list is not sorted by the number of results that the search would return: I think they're sorted by the number of requests
that Google has received for those terms. Google doesn't tell you how many requests
there were. That probably explains why there are almost 60M results for "how to kiss" but it comes second on the list behind "how to tie a tie".
Seriously, though: "how to tie a tie" is the most popular "how to" search? In 2009? I would never have guessed.
What else do these "how to" search suggestions tell us?
Of course, finding a good answer to "how to kiss" may make it easier for you to figure out "how to get pregnant" on your own. And some people might suggest that answering "how to lose weight" might make it easier to research "how to kiss", but I won't have any of that weight-normative talk on my blog.
It's no surprise to me that there are more results for "how to make a website" than all the others combined, and considering what I do for a living (user interface engineer), that result warms my heart. It's no surprise because the web has always been more about the web than just about anything else. Perhaps knowing how to make a website confers such status that knowing how to kiss, get pregnant, lose weight, solve a Rubik's cube — or even how to tie a tie — become secondary considerations.
Also, "how to make a website" is often a way to make a living: which is why it appears so near to "how to write a resume" and "how to write a cover letter". In these economically challenging times, those skills, combined, could be your ticket to financial well-being.
Even, apparently, if you don't
know how to spell: "how to solve a rubix cube" will, no matter how you spell it, teach you how to solve a Rubik's cube, leading you to a blissful world of kisses and and jobs and international travel: leading, naturally, to "how to get a passport".
On the topic of spelling, I recently mistyped "windows" as "womdpws" and found that it's a popular misspelling. So popular that Google suggests all of the following searches for it:
womdpws update — 149,000,000 results
womdpws 7 — 762,000,000 results
womdpws 7 beta — 23,100,000 results
womdpws defender — 6,410,000 results
womdpws live — 477,000,000 results
womdpws media player — 77,700,000 results
womdpws 7 download — 57,400,000 results
womdpws live messenger — 21,300,000 results
womdpws movie maker — 5,820,000 results
womdpws installer — 57,600,000 results
Impressively, choosing "womdpws update" delivers results for "windows update," which is probably what the fat-fingered searcher meant in the first place.
But it leads me to wonder: if someone created a product called "Womdpws" would you even be able to find it? ( And how would you even pronounce it? "Wom-dah-pews"? "Wom-dee-poos"? "Wom-dip-wiz"?)
Maybe the fabulous new "Womdpws" product will even teach you how to draw.