Where do Twitter’s search suggestions even come from??

This isn’t really a post about football, so bear with me.

The 12th man has good reason to religiously check the Seahawks’ injury report released daily after practice. My investigation today revealed that Percy Harvin practiced Wednesday! So did Luke Willson, miraculously, after the tight end left last game on a stretcher with a high ankle sprain.

Only two Seahawks did not participate in today’s practice: KJ Wright, who we already know is out with a broken foot, and Kam Chancellor (hip). Spotting this last name on the injury report was a surprise, so I took to Twitter to investigate. I started typing his name into the search box, and didn’t even have a chance to finish before I came across another surprise:

kam chancellor search suggestionsI was all ready to learn about Chancellor’s injured hip. But his eye? This was unexpected – particularly in light of the fact that you wouldn’t expect tracking problems in someone who plays like a heat-seeking missile:

But then again, maybe the man spends half his time inside a helmet for a reason and his lazy eye is something I just never noticed because I so rarely have the opportunity to look deeply into his eyes. Well, here’s a helmetless interview, and his eyes certainly appear to move in perfect sync:

Mystified, I abandoned my search for information about his hip, and took Twitter’s suggestion:

kam chancellor search resultsNo results. Not one. And a subsequent google regular search and google image search turned up nothing, either.

I’ve obviously never searched for this combination of words before — it never occurred to me that he, or any other Seahawk might have a lazy eye — but just to be sure, I cleared my past searches. I logged into Twitter through private browsing. I tried a different browser. I even tried a different account. It all made no difference: Twitter wants me to search “kam chancellor lazy eye” for no reason of which I could conceive.

Another possibility that occurs to me is that Twitter suggests searches that other people have previously run. But what would prompt someone to run that search in the first place? And even if a handful of people were somehow motivated to do it, how did enough people manage such that it was one of the top couple of suggestions? Surely, one would expect “Kam Chancellor Seahawks” or “Kam Chancellor Vernon Davis” or “Kam Chancellor Deathbacker” to be more popular searches and therefore come up more often as a Twitter suggestion.

So in summary, if someone can please explain to me how in the world Twitter decides to suggest what you search, I’d love to hear about it because eye honestly have no idea what’s going on.


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