Top things the < 18 set looks for on internets
August 14, 2009 10:49 AM   Subscribe

Top 100 search terms of the <18 crowd during summer. If you're Glenn Quagmire, don't read this. All others, continue! An article with at least superficial credibility (they admit kids search for porn, etc.) about what kids, tweens and teens search for online. Randomness includes Megan Fox, Walmart, Youtube and Naked Girls. (And Craigslist. What the hell do kids need on Craigslist?)
posted by ShadePlant (73 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
What do kids need on Craigslist?

Megan Fox, Walmart, Youtube and Naked Girls.
posted by blue_beetle at 10:54 AM on August 14, 2009


What the hell do kids need on Craigslist?

They want to read the dirty ads and (from the looks of it) write stuff on rants and raves. Also, they want to see if anyone has posted a missed connection about them OMG.
posted by hermitosis at 10:55 AM on August 14, 2009


And here I thought it was only non-web-savvy grownups who would actually Google words like Google and Facebook.
posted by sueinnyc at 10:59 AM on August 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


Holy wow that Fred Figglehorn stuff is really bizarre.
posted by billysumday at 11:00 AM on August 14, 2009


Kids today. How hard is it to find Youtube or Hulu that you have to Google it, rather than just appending the ".com" to the end? Or are they so bad at typing that entering "hulu" into the bar, hitting enter, and then clicking on the link is actually faster than typing ".com" afterwards?
posted by explosion at 11:01 AM on August 14, 2009


I am math challenged but I think ">" = more than and "<" = less than. Halp?
posted by ShadePlant at 11:02 AM on August 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm not particularly math challenged, but I do have to say "LESS than points to the LEFT" in my head every time I use those signs.
posted by peep at 11:08 AM on August 14, 2009


we need to stop this internet thing now before it's too late
posted by philip-random at 11:10 AM on August 14, 2009 [4 favorites]


ShadePlant has it right:

the <18 crowd =

(Kids who are) < 18 =

(Kids who are ) LESS THAN 18

It's not even that one specifically means less than. Think of it as the arrow points to the smaller number.
posted by Ryvar at 11:11 AM on August 14, 2009


And here I thought it was only non-web-savvy grownups who would actually Google words like Google and Facebook.

If you type "google" or "facebook" into some address bars, the text is first googled and then it automatically chooses the first hit.
posted by DU at 11:11 AM on August 14, 2009 [4 favorites]


Does this include when people just omit the '.com' in the address bar at the top? That basically serves as a 'go to the best match' search and I know several people who navigate that way, for example typing 'hulu' into the address bar instead of 'hulu.com' That could also explain away the top results like google and youtube if their homepage was set up on another site.
posted by scrutiny at 11:12 AM on August 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


jinx DU
posted by scrutiny at 11:12 AM on August 14, 2009


The lesson here is that most kids are boring. Or maybe that we should have never allowed commercial sites on the internet.
posted by Tashtego at 11:13 AM on August 14, 2009


ShadePlant has it right

Yay! Liberal arts girl FTW. /self aggrandizement
posted by ShadePlant at 11:14 AM on August 14, 2009


I like that #21 on the list of search terms is... the activity monitor whose users this list was gathered from. Looking for workarounds, I'll bet. Go human ingenuity!

Kids today. How hard is it to find Youtube or Hulu that you have to Google it, rather than just appending the ".com" to the end? Or are they so bad at typing that entering "hulu" into the bar, hitting enter, and then clicking on the link is actually faster than typing ".com" afterwards?

Depending on how they put the list together, those could also represent kids restricting a search for a particular domain. (Say they're looking for a video, so they search for "KEYWORDS site:youtube.com." That's what I do when I'm looking for a video, anyway.)
posted by nebulawindphone at 11:14 AM on August 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


The <> signs are alligators, and alligators like to eat the bigger number.
posted by NoraReed at 11:14 AM on August 14, 2009 [32 favorites]


OnlineFamilyNorton

Really great name there.
posted by Zambrano at 11:15 AM on August 14, 2009


Kids today. How hard is it to find Youtube or Hulu that you have to Google it, rather than just appending the ".com" to the end? Or are they so bad at typing that entering "hulu" into the bar, hitting enter, and then clicking on the link is actually faster than typing ".com" afterwards?

I see this all the time. People who are not tech savvy have no idea what the URL bar is for. I think Google has recognized this not so much as a "people are stupid" problem but as a general behavior among users, which is why the Chrome bar integrates URL and searching.

I was working on a project and I had a VP ask me to make a certain parameter ad-hoc, where the user just types in the parameter without a drop down. I thought I was being clever and put in simple URL redirecting so domain.com/documents.aspx?parameter="ABCD" became domain.com/documents/ABCD/ and explained all you had to do was change the URL to whatever parameter you wanted and if it didn't exist an error page would hit you. He said, "Cool" and had a very satisfied look on his face when I saw him go to his Ask.com Toolbar and very confidently type in domain.com/documents/ABCD/ and respond, "Hmm that didn't work, maybe you need to work on it some more."
posted by geoff. at 11:15 AM on August 14, 2009 [3 favorites]


I am math challenged but I think ">" = more than and "<>

The aligator is greedy and always wants to eat the larger portion.

posted by Pollomacho at 11:16 AM on August 14, 2009 [3 favorites]


Or what Nora Reed said.
posted by Pollomacho at 11:17 AM on August 14, 2009


101. get off lawn FAQ
posted by Christ, what an asshole at 11:18 AM on August 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Kids today. How hard is it to find Youtube or Hulu that you have to Google it, rather than just appending the ".com" to the end?

I think I've figured out part of this phenomenon because I sometimes do it inadvertently, and sometimes I do it intentionally.

If you open a new browser (say, with ctrl-N) and your home page is the basic google front page or other search engine it lands you with the cursor on the search entry field.

One or two keystrokes of a popular URL or destination brings up an autocomplete suggestion, one down arrow highlights it, enter selects - done. It can actually be less keystrokes than ctrl-N and then F6 or mousing to the URL field, especially if your history is cluttered.

Before the new autocomplete you could reliably do the same thing by typing the name of a popular site and tabbing to "I'm feeling lucky" and slapping the spacebar.

Same destination, and sometimes it really is less keystrokes. So, don't automatically assume that these queries are just confused internet users googling for yahoo! or whatever.
posted by loquacious at 11:19 AM on August 14, 2009


Heck, explosion, they don't even need that. This is supposedly the web-savvy generation. In any modern browser, IE included, typing a single word into the URL bar and hitting CTRL-ENTER (CMD-ENTER on a Mac, obviously) will prepend "www." before the word, ".com" after, and try to reach the complete URL.

(And this assumes that they haven't gone to the site previously. If they have, and retain their browser history, it's easier still... type the first few letters of the central part of the URL, hit the cursor down key to select the auto-completed possibilities, and ENTER)

After my opening address in my web development classes (which start next month, hoo-rah), those techniques, along with a few others, are the first thing I teach. It frustrates me no end to see people wasting time getting to resources on the Internet.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 11:19 AM on August 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


You can also look at the HTML entities you used to type your comment in. &lt; stands for "less than" and is rendered <.
posted by DU at 11:20 AM on August 14, 2009


Very interesting. Norton Safety Minder ranked 21, seeming to indicate that the kids are trying to not be safety minded. Good for them! I am encourage at our youth's prospects more then usual. Also encouraging is the common naked girls, etc; it is good to see the youth remain youthful.

I am most amused by the added footnotes 'splaining all the stuff the the adults. I'll admit, I wouldn't have known fred.
posted by Bovine Love at 11:21 AM on August 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'd forgotten about Fred. Yikes! We've come some distance from the odd deluge of green slime.
posted by everichon at 11:23 AM on August 14, 2009


useless info... it only includes families who use the OnlineFamily.Norton service.. which does not included ANY of the families of kids in my program...

This is really pretty meaningless in terms of telling us anything about the general population, the sample is too restrictive.
posted by HuronBob at 11:24 AM on August 14, 2009 [3 favorites]


I'm a little saddened by the lack of taste these* kids have. Soulja Boy, Boom Boom Pow (which is mediocrity incarnate), Miley Cyrus.

On the other hand, I choose believe that 61. Hoedown throwdown (Hit song by Miley Cyrus) is really Bela Fleck and it gives me hope.

* Of course, I listened to just as crappy music when I was a teenager.
posted by Lemurrhea at 11:25 AM on August 14, 2009


I am over 18 and I know what the URL bar is for. And I too go to Hulu, YouTube, whatever, by Googling and then clicking on the first hit. Life's too short to worry about minimizing keystrokes.
posted by escabeche at 11:26 AM on August 14, 2009


See, mefites? Lady Gaga is a big deal. Told you so.
posted by hermitosis at 11:27 AM on August 14, 2009 [3 favorites]


We don't have any blocking or tracking software on our computers, but these are the sites that my 2 older boys (7 and 10) are constantly using:

YouTube (Fred, iCarly, stop motion Lego videos)
Club Penguin
Nick.com (Chowder videos)

The rest of their internet time is spent on World of Warcraft with their level 65 Gnome Death Knights, tracking down non-combat pets, and ganking Mangy Wolves and Defias Cutthroats in Elwynn Forest.
posted by Brocktoon at 11:27 AM on August 14, 2009


I was going to say I hadn't heard of Club Penguin and I should pass it along to my kids...but school starts in 2 weeks, so maybe not.
posted by DU at 11:31 AM on August 14, 2009


I am over 18 and I know what the URL bar is for. And I too go to Hulu, YouTube, whatever, by Googling and then clicking on the first hit. Life's too short to worry about minimizing keystrokes.

Typing just "google" and "facebook", for example, in my Firefox URL field, will take me directly to those websites. There is also a handy search field up in the right hand corner that searches Google automatically. My life is not somehow diminished due to these super advanced and complicated browser functions. Counting the days until my death seems more stressful.
posted by Brocktoon at 11:32 AM on August 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


kids are stupid
posted by Optimus Chyme at 11:32 AM on August 14, 2009


the <1>

Are we sure it's not a smiley for a witch with goggles?

posted by CynicalKnight at 11:33 AM on August 14, 2009


There's absolutely nothing stupid about searching Google for "youtube" to get to youtube.com. It gets you there very quickly; more quickly for me than typing into the location bar, actually. And depending on your browser typing "youtube" into the bar may well result in a Google search combined with I'm-Feeling-Lucky to go to the top result. In fact, in current browsers the fact that you can type domain names into the bar up top is already a bit of an afterthought. Next round of browsers it may become completely vestigal.

The queries that baffle me in that list are "Sex" and "Porn". They're so generic. Both of them do lead directly to hardcore porn, though, so I guess they're finding what they want.
posted by Nelson at 11:34 AM on August 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


I am over 18 and I know what the URL bar is for. And I too go to Hulu, YouTube, whatever, by Googling and then clicking on the first hit. Life's too short to worry about minimizing keystrokes.

I hear ya, brother, although I'm a little more in tune with my chi apparently. When I want to google something, I get in my car, drive to Google headquarters, break into the server room and type a SQL query right into the console. Then I use a paper phonebook to determine the physical location of the top result and hop back in the car for another fun drive across the US....

Life's too short to spent time on anything but inefficient searching techniques.
posted by DU at 11:36 AM on August 14, 2009 [6 favorites]


Kids today. How hard is it to find Youtube or Hulu that you have to Google it, rather than just appending the ".com" to the end?

I know several adults who are unclear on the difference between the address field and the search field in their browsers. They're both just ways to get to the places they want to go.
posted by brundlefly at 11:38 AM on August 14, 2009


the difference between the address field and the search field

In Firefox and Chrome they are the same thing. And that's good.
posted by Nelson at 11:41 AM on August 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


I wonder what the overlap is between people who use the address bar as a google bar and people who pee in the shower.
posted by DU at 11:41 AM on August 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


Huh. Not one Styx, Ghostbusters, or Garbage Pail Kids reference. I'm amazed.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 11:42 AM on August 14, 2009


Those kids sure love their cats.
posted by rusty at 11:42 AM on August 14, 2009


So wait. This data is gathered from families using a Symantec censorship filter. That surely means that every time the kid searches for the word "porn", they get nothing.

Yet it is ranked #6.

That must mean it would be an astronomical #1 on a regular, non-censored computer where it would actually produce some boobies.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 11:44 AM on August 14, 2009 [5 favorites]


86. Naked girls

Really? #86? Are they putting saltpetre in the water now? Or are most under 18s smart enough to not get their porn/sex browsing picked up by the likes of Norton Safety Minder?
posted by Kadin2048 at 11:44 AM on August 14, 2009


I like that #21 on the list of search terms is... the activity monitor whose users this list was gathered from. Looking for workarounds, I'll bet. Go human ingenuity!

My first thought when seeing the searches prepended by "+" was that someone had told them that this was a workaround, although upon reflection it's probably not - "+Pussy", "+Playboy" and "+Nude" I can understand - "+Google"?
posted by djgh at 11:48 AM on August 14, 2009


So do kids have FEWER than 18 years, or LESS than 18 years?
posted by blue_beetle at 12:00 PM on August 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


See, mefites? Lady Gaga is a big deal. Told you so.

I also learned today that she's a poster girl for Illuminati mind control.

But who isn't, really...
posted by naju at 12:01 PM on August 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


The queries that baffle me in that list are "Sex" and "Porn". They're so generic.

That's why they come up so frequently. Let's say 1,000 people search for "porn." And then let's say 10,000 people search for specific interests and fetishes: maybe a few hundred of them will search for for "MILF" and a few hundred for "blowjob" and a few hundred for "pissing" and a few hundred for "furries" and a few hundred for lord knows what else.... well, "porn" is still coming out ahead.

My first thought when seeing the searches prepended by "+" was that someone had told them that this was a workaround, although upon reflection it's probably not - "+Pussy", "+Playboy" and "+Nude" I can understand - "+Google"?

If you read the fine print, the plusses mark search terms that are tied with each other in popularity.
posted by nebulawindphone at 12:02 PM on August 14, 2009


So do kids have FEWER than 18 years, or LESS than 18 years?

They have lived fewer than 18 years. They are less than 18 years old.
posted by nebulawindphone at 12:04 PM on August 14, 2009


What the hell do kids need on Craigslist?
Well, my teenage son and his buddies have been buying, selling and trading bike and scooter parts, used iPods, old Nintendos, video games and so on ever since Craigslist finally made it to Asheville a year or two ago. They love Craigslist. They all sit there together and slowly, slowly go through every single motorcycle for sale in all of Western North Carolina, adding commentary on what the seller is probably lying about, how it probably doesn't really work, what a shitty job the seller did on any upgrades and how, if they could afford it and had their motorcycle licenses, they would have a much better bike than that, man.
posted by mygothlaundry at 12:13 PM on August 14, 2009 [4 favorites]


I wonder what the overlap is between people who use the address bar as a google bar and people who pee in the shower.

Thanks to mobile devices, I can do both simultaneously!
posted by me & my monkey at 12:13 PM on August 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Really? #86?

Well, you know, the kids these days -- they don't *need* be searching for porn, because the girls their age are constantly sending them naked pictures of themselves over their cellular telephones. I read it in Newsweek.
posted by webmutant at 12:15 PM on August 14, 2009 [3 favorites]


Kids today. How hard is it to find Youtube or Hulu that you have to Google it, rather than just appending the ".com" to the end?

I know several adults who are unclear on the difference between the address field and the search field in their browsers. They're both just ways to get to the places they want to go.


Kids? I work for one of those companies, and I do that all the time. Especially when switching back to a browser than I haven't used in a while.
posted by effbot at 12:22 PM on August 14, 2009


It seems likely that plenty of kids have interests in things not many of their peers are looking for, and those searches would not score high on a compilation like this. The "top 100" is just a snapshot of what many kids may have in common and does not mean all kids think the same.
posted by longsleeves at 12:23 PM on August 14, 2009


If you type "google" or "facebook" into some address bars, the text is first googled and then it automatically chooses the first hit.

Especially if you use google chrome. If you type "facebook" into the address bar (without the .com) it does a google search, even if you've been to the site before, even though it suggests the real URL, it suggests a search first. (on firefox, if you've been to the site before, the first suggestion will be the site itself)

Of course, no one uses google chrome...

Also, anyone else notice #21:
21.Norton Safety Minder (The small software that is part of Symantec’s OnlineFamily.Norton service. It is installed on each child’s monitored computer and actively informs the child upon log-in that their parents are monitoring their online activities.)
I'm guessing that they didn't try to normalize these results for non-users of their software. Also, how many of these people do you think realized their search results were being collected? I'm guessing it was a default enabled option, or they just clicked the message box.
posted by delmoi at 1:12 PM on August 14, 2009


Giggidy!
posted by howling fantods at 1:17 PM on August 14, 2009


Especially if you use google chrome. If you type "facebook" into the address bar (without the .com) it does a google search, even if you've been to the site before, even though it suggests the real URL, it suggests a search first.

If I start typing "facebook" in my Chrome, it automatically fills in "facebook.com" after two characters (in my case), and I have to explicitly remove the ".com" part (e.g. by pressing backspace) to get search as default. Same with metafilter and most other sites I visit often enough, so I guess they're using some heuristic to determine that you usually want the site when you're typing a certain thing.

Of course, no one uses google chrome...

Nor Safari and Opera, and IE6 is still the most popular browser. Weird world.
posted by effbot at 1:23 PM on August 14, 2009


Giggidy!

El wrong-o grande.
posted by ShadePlant at 1:30 PM on August 14, 2009


I don't know what is funnier, the list of favorite websites to google for, or the explanations of search terms such as Britney Spears for us oldsters.
posted by shownomercy at 1:46 PM on August 14, 2009


Kids today. How hard is it to find Youtube or Hulu that you have to Google it, rather than just appending the ".com" to the end?

Personally, sometimes I use Firefox' browser search to google sites that I don't want just hanging around in my dropdown list for a week or however long they take to disappear. Some people have a list of tabs that they open every day; my daily links are the ones I keep in the URL dropdown list.
posted by cmgonzalez at 1:52 PM on August 14, 2009


I also learned today that she's a poster girl for Illuminati mind control.


Wait a second. Illuminati. Mind Control. Monarch "programing". Unkind rumors about transgenderism...

OMG GUYS LADY GAG IS ACTUALLY DR. GIRLFRIEND!
posted by The Whelk at 2:08 PM on August 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


And here I thought it was only non-web-savvy grownups who would actually Google words like Google and Facebook.

I use google search to shortcut my searches on Hulu or YouTube.

"Hulu Family Guy"
"YouTube AMV"

etc., etc.

I wonder if searches like that were weeded out.
posted by zarq at 3:01 PM on August 14, 2009


we need to stop this internet thing now before it's too late

Have you noticed, that people are still on the net.
All the denouncement had absolutely no effect.
Parents and counsellors constantly scorn them.
But people are still on the net and nothing seems to stop them.

Do you realise, that people are still on the net,
They’ve been told not to, perhaps they are perplexed.
When you see them on the WANs they’re making future plans
To engage in the activity, do you understand me?
posted by Evilspork at 3:06 PM on August 14, 2009


Please note: I meant to type Gaga not Gag. I am on the smallest keyboard in the world and it is not even an english-language one.
posted by The Whelk at 3:08 PM on August 14, 2009


Protip: Many browsers now have autocompletion hotkey options. When typing in the URL, [Ctrl] + [Enter] Completes .COM Address; [Shift] + [Enter] Completes .NET Address; and [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [Enter] Completes .ORG Address.

For example: google + [Ctrl] + [Enter] = http://www.google.com/, while mozilla + Ctrl] + [Shift] + [Enter] = http://www.mozilla.org/
posted by filthy light thief at 3:11 PM on August 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


There's absolutely nothing stupid about searching Google for "youtube" to get to youtube.com. It gets you there very quickly; more quickly for me than typing into the location bar, actually.

Hitting Google to figure out the URL then redirecting your browser to that URL is faster than loading the URL directly? That's...odd.
posted by The Tensor at 3:31 PM on August 14, 2009


Many browsers now have autocompletion hotkey options.

Yup. And all browsers have an even simpler auto-completion hot-key: [Enter]. It auto-completes whether the address I meant was .com, .org, or .net. No need to contort to use a modifier key, no need to remember which flavour of domain you're looking for.

Hitting Google to figure out the URL then redirecting your browser to that URL is faster than loading the URL directly?

I just did an I'm Feeling Lucky search for "metafilter". Wireshark confirms the redirect came back to my browser in 150ms. I type about 80 words per minute, or roughly 10 keystrokes per second. So it'd take me roughly 400ms to type ".com".

I'm being absurd, of course, comparing these two things (although the math is on my side). My real point is there's nothing crazy at all about navigational queries like [metafilter] or [youtube]. They work great and Google has 100+ engineers working night and day to ensure they're answered very very fast.

Machines should work; people should think.
posted by Nelson at 4:47 PM on August 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


We're doooooomed!
posted by Edward L at 5:16 PM on August 14, 2009


28. Boobs

Keep on rockin', kiddos.
posted by Avenger at 7:57 PM on August 14, 2009


64. Don’t Trust Me (Hit song by the band 3Oh!3)

You got that right!
posted by orme at 8:27 PM on August 14, 2009


How hard is it to find Youtube or Hulu that you have to Google it, rather than just appending the ".com" to the end?

Why is it that any browser is so retarded as to require you to type anything more than "youtube" into the address bar? My browser automagically appends .com, .net, .org, .edu, etceteras to the name; and I think it prepends a WWW automatically as well.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:16 PM on August 14, 2009


My browser automagically appends .com, .net, .org, .edu, etceteras to the name; and I think it prepends a WWW automatically as well.

That was somewhat trendy for a while, but I'm pretty sure most browser makers have moved away from that approach, since it has a whole bunch of problems, including DNS and security issues (see "Limitations" on this page for a discussion). From what I can tell, Firefox uses it only as a fallback.
posted by effbot at 7:33 AM on August 16, 2009


Exercise: a list of 101 search terms ranked by number of occurences has two two-way ties, one three-way tie, and three four-way ties. Estimate the total number of searches monitored.
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 7:46 AM on August 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


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