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Mark Lennihan, Associated Press

Google: Why is Minnesota so ... ?

  • Article by: JOHN EWOLDT
  • Star Tribune
  • August 28, 2012 - 8:21 AM

According to Google, Minnesota might as well be synonymous with Iowa. A blogger recently typed "Why is [name of a state] so __?" into Google's search field and let the site's auto search function complete the question. The completely unscientific, bellwether glimpse has people wondering why Minnesota is so "humid," "liberal" and "windy." Ditto for Iowa, mostly.

It's pretty tame in comparison to the stuff people are wondering about the Badger State next door where the top auto completion to the "Why is Wisconsin so __" question is "stupid."

For many states it gets worse. Eighteen states, including North Dakota, had "boring" as a common search term. West Virginia fared among the most undesirable with "poor," "racist," "fat" and "weird" completing the question.

Joan Bennett from Explore Minnesota, the state's tourism site, was surprised that "cold" or "snowy" wasn't Minnesota's top question, since that's the perception of many potential tourists from out of state. "Obviously, people were asking the question on a recent hot day," she said.

That's true, said Jeffery Bennett, creative technology director at Colle+McVoy public relations. Google's auto-completes are time-sensitive as well as volume-sensitive, he said. "A lot of people having been asking recently why Minnesota is so humid," he said, "but don't expect it to be a popular query in January."

Ditto for "hot."

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