In Google Search, autocomplete is that mechanism that tries to save your time, by making suggestions appear after the words you’ve already typed. Google itself tells us how its autocomplete works: predicts and displays search queries based on other users’ search activities… The autocomplete data is updated frequently to offer fresh and rising search queries. Right now, if you type “Berlusconi” in, the result is what you see in this snapshot.


What Berlusconi looks like from Google Italy /img/berlusconi_google_result.png

In these moments in which Italy is in deep debt crisis, the first word that Google Italy autocomplete associates to Berlusconi (that is, to paraphrase Google itself, what appears most frequently in Italian searches about Berlusconi) is not crisis, debt, or any other term more or less related to politics. It isn’t even something that is normally associated to entrepreneurs or (remember, we’re talking Berlusconi here) womanizers. It’s “barzelletta”, that is “joke”. And it isn’t just the first association, is almost the only one.