What Google Autocomplete Tells Us About Pittsburgh (and Cleveland)

The Google search bar is a fascinating window into how the rest of the world sees our cities.

Photo by Dave DiCello


Big data can tell us a lot (just ask the NSA). It can even tell us what other people think about our cities. Blogger Nate Shivar recently conducted a fascinating pseudo-scientific experiment by exploring Google autocomplete results for the 50 largest cities in America.

Shivar simply typed the phrase “Why is [city] so …” into the Google search bar. Google’s autocomplete algorithm automatically suggests the terms that people most commonly (or most recently) used to complete the search.

The results provide an interesting, hilarious perspective on how the rest of the world sees various cities. Stereotypes, ahoy!

Note: Please do not take this too seriously, folks.










Boring, cloudy and hilly. But undeniably great. We’ll take it.

Read the full report on all 50 cities. Our favorite is Portland.


  What’s going on today?


  • Feel like a kid again as you get soaked by opponents during the Great American Water Balloon Fight, held this year at Highmark Stadium. Feel good about hoisting balloons at others; the event, which features music and food trucks, benefits Team Tassy. — Saturday; doors open at 10:30 a.m.


  • Reflect lightheartedly upon Mayor Luke Ravenstahl’s career with ToonSeum’s "Juice Box Memories: The Best of Boy Mayor." A sample of Rob Rogers’ cartoons, the collection depicts Ravenstahl as a 6-year-old boy addicted to juice boxes. — Recurring daily


Categories: The 412