Imogen Thomas and Google AutoComplete

I have no desire to breach any superinjunctions, let's be clear on that from the start. I'm also not just mentioning Imogen Thomas for SEO reasons - although I'd bet she's one of the most searched-for people at this very moment.

Google Trends shows her 30-day search volume peaking on April 27th at nearly three times its long-term average, but with her appearance on This Morning today, I reckon there's another peak to come.

So why am I mentioning Imogen at all? There's one very good reason - she's vanished. Not in real life, but online.

Try it - type her name into Google. You'll get AutoComplete options as long as you're still on 'Imogen', but type the T of her surname and they vanish.

Imogen Heap, Imogen Stubbs and Imogen Poots all pop up - and even some terms including Imogen Thomas and variations on 'football' or 'Premiership footballer' - but get far enough into her name and they disappear.


In principle this is nothing new - Google filters out some of the more salacious AutoComplete phrases (such as anything relating to porn) whether you have SafeSearch switched on or not.

But it's interesting to see that even Google - hailed as a bastion of free speech at times - can be silenced by a superinjunction.

So what's the impact of this? If you're a news outlet, or a lads' mag, it could have quite a hit. Sure, today everyone's typing in Imogen Thomas and hitting enter, but tomorrow? Next week? What if she never returns as an AutoComplete option? Finding her latest Zoo photoshoot could be that much more difficult from now on.

For Imogen herself, it's one more nail in the coffin. I don't imagine it's a priority to her right now, but a Big Brother contestant who's filtered out by Google probably isn't quite such a hot property as one who's still prompted in AutoComplete suggestions - such as Kate Lawler, for instance.

I'll be keeping an eye on this one, but it's interesting to see that superinjunctions are having knock-on effects even as far as the world of SEO and search visibility. Watch this space - just don't talk about it.

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