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Jan 27 2012

The Google Age Game

How old do you act online?

While doing my daily troll of Gawker, I came upon an article about how Google calculates ones age. And you can figure out how old and what gender Google thinks you are by following this link.

Apparently due to my interest in Business, Aerospace, Defense, Space Technology, Government, Government – Legislative Branch, Legal news, Politics and elections, people and society, and casual apparel and T-shirts; Google thinks I am a 55 to 64 year old man. I am 27… Though Google thinks my iPhone is owned by a 45-54 year old man, which I can only attribute to a lot of time spent on the /b/.

I can only assume Google thinks PZ is a 176 year old demonic lord.

What about you, dear readers?

(Source: Gawker)

85 comments

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  1. 1
    jamessweet

    Well this is weird… they nailed my demographic exactly (25-34 year old male; I am 33 and male) but of my top 4 interests, three of them are clearly due to my wife’s internet surfing.

  2. 2
    Jeremy Shaffer

    Gave me the 25- 34 year old male result. I am male but I’m 36 so close.

  3. 3
    HumanisticJones

    Google thinks I’m a 35-44 year old male. I’m a 29 year old male… Got the gender correct but apparently I’m going to be one of those “Get off my lawn ya damn kids” old men.

  4. 4
    Cuttlefish

    They think I’m 65+ years old. What, just because I write in complete sentences? They take two guesses as to my science, and miss with both. My top interest is apparently automobiles, which must be why I bike to work.

    It’s like they don’t even know me…

    1. 4.1
      jamessweet

      It’s definitely not complete sentences. They got my age accurately, and I type in complete sentences.

      Er I mean, uh… lol wut y wud google care how i right i can type just fine 4 all intensive purposes.

    2. 4.2
      Tara C. Smith

      Says I’m a 55-64 year old male. (I’m 35 and female).

  5. 5
    Assassin Actual

    What I really want to know is how porn factors into this.

    1. 5.1
      Aliasalpha

      Surely it’d vary depending on the times you’ve searched for either “MILF” or “Barely Legal”

  6. 6
    tubi

    What I really want to know is how porn factors into this.

    Well, if it comes back saying you’re an 8 year old animated Japanese squid, then we’ll know.

  7. 7
    Andrew

    Google doesn’t have any advertising info on me… Adblock Plus is doing its job well.

    I’m sure Google knows everything about me from other sources though.

  8. 8
    Jessica

    45-54 Male

    They have me pegged (I’m 31; potato, pah-tah-toe).

  9. 9
    noastronomer

    25-34, male.

    They got the male part right, but I’m actually 49. You’re only as old as the websites you surf?

    I doubt ones writing has anything to do with the assessment. Cookies don’t typically track that, it’s too much information. Rather they’re just considering the links you click and the websites you visit.

    Mike.

  10. 10
    Mikey

    Though Google thinks my iPhone is owned by a 45-54 year old man, which I can only attribute to a lot of time spent on the /b/.

    Hahahahaha! Never pegged you for a denizen of /b/. Your picture has no obvious neckbeard.

    When I was in the USAF I spent a couple years in a cav squadron TACP. Cool bunch of guys to work with, although the squadron commander looked at us a bit cross-eyed sometimes.

    I’m 45 and Google puts me in 55-64. No idea why. At least it knows I’m male.

  11. 11
    Katkinkate

    That’s hilarious. They reckon I’m 18-24 year old male!! Ha! My obviously female derivative name might be considered a smoke screen, but the age is off by over 100 %. I’m just young at heart, I must be doing something right (or wrong, depending on your point of view).

  12. 12
    unbound

    Awesome!! I feel so young now. Google has me pegged as a 18-24 year old. Only off by a couple of decades.

    I guess keeping up with technology keeps a person young…

    1. 12.1
      unbound

      lol…sent the link to my wife’s computer, and although it showed different areas of interest, it showed the same 18-24 yo male. Maybe I need to watch her more closely… >.>

  13. 13
    sumdum

    Google has no idea what demographic I am, though it does know I like MMOs.

  14. 14
    Savagemutt

    Ha! Since this 43 year old male enters a online sweepstakes as a hobby it thinks I’m a 45-64 year old woman who loves to shop. I freaking hate shopping. I hate spending money on anything.

  15. 15
    movablebooklady

    They don’t have anything on me at all. That’s probably because my settings clear all cookies whenever I close my browser.

  16. 16
    Paul Weaver

    They think I’m 65, due to my interest in Law, Government, Emergency Services, and Antiques.

    I am 43, recently retired from the Army, and active in my local volunteer Fire Department. I do enjoy shopping for antiques – but I’ve done that since I was a young chile.

    1. 16.1
      Paul Weaver

      *Child.

  17. 17
    sailor1031

    Google had no profile on me. I’m using Adblocker and a number of other interference runners and apparently they work.

  18. 18
    emc2

    Male 65+, News-Politics, Science-Biological Science-Anatomy.

    Actual Male, 43. I have no idea where the anatomy comes from. Astronomy is my preferred science. The sports sites that I visit every day do not register at all.

  19. 19
    Tanya

    Hrm… 25-34 year-old male. My nearly 39 year-old vagina protests.

  20. 20
    sceptinurse

    Funny,

    it thinks I am a 45-54 y/o male whose job is education and sciences interests are earth science and paleontology.

    I am an almost 55 y/o female nurse whose science interests lie in biology and physiology.

  21. 21
    James

    Arts & Entertainment
    Arts & Entertainment – Music & Audio – Rock Music
    News – Politics – Campaigns & Elections
    People & Society – Social Issues & Advocacy

    65+; Male.

    OK, the gender is right, but my age is half that…and I really wonder how many 65 year olds are into 90′s indie bands? Not saying they can’t be, but I don’t imagine there’s a huge intersection there.

  22. 22
    Melanie

    31 yr old woman, Google thinks I’m a 65+year old man… until now: deleted.

  23. 23
    qbsmd

    “You currently do not have an ‘id’ cookie”

    I thought it was because my browser clears cookies, so I went to Google News and clicked on a few articles, but still nothing. And I can see the id cookie so I don’t think I opted out. Google doesn’t want me to know what it knows.

  24. 24
    Old Fogey

    Always knew it was a good idea to set browsers to delet cookies when they close.

    It seems Google know nothing about me!

  25. 25
    F [is for failure to emerge]

    Oops. Google doesn’t seem to know I exist. The practical upshot of which is that it can’t give me worse search results than it normally provides.

  26. 26
    Trebuchet

    Apparently I’m identical to emc2. They’re not far off, I’m a year or two under 65. The biology part almost certainly comes from visiting Pharyngula. They also missed my interest in astronomy and space exploration, not to mention CATAPULTS! Presumably because Google doesn’t have the ads on those sites.

  27. 27
    marypoppins

    Interesting game. Google thinks I am a 45-54 year old male. Reality – I am a little older and definitely female. Lots of Arts & Entertainment probably because I am watching an Australian tv series online. The Business, Industrial, Internet & Science things seem to what makes them think I am male.

    Mary P

  28. 28
    Susannah

    Google thinks I’m a 45 – 54 y.o. male. I’m a woman, pushing 70. They base it on my interests; Business – Economy, Politics, more Economy, Biology – Anatomy. Anatomy? Because I’ve Googled “anatomy of collembola”, “anatomy of a hermit crab”, etc., I guess.

    I should really be Googling pink kitties and knitting patterns; maybe that would correct their wrong impressions. But then they’d send me ads for granny scooters. Yikes!

  29. 29
    Grimalkin

    Hmm. I am male and 18-24 or or 25-34 depending on the device I’m on!

    And I’m female. I have to wonder what makes me male though- all google on my computer knows about me is “pets” (which is weird, I can’t recall searching anything animal related). Google on my phone makes more sense- I’ve been looking up a lot on archery and electronics, and I suppose that flagged me as male, but at the same time, feminism and clothing comes up on my categories.

  30. 30
    iknklast

    Well, that’s interesting! They got my age right, my gender wrong. I guess if you like science sites and freethought sites, you’re a male. I guess they ignored all those feminist sites I visit, like NOW, and weighted it to assume I like science, I must be male.

    Of course, I’ve never bought anything PINK online, preferring black, gray, or green, so maybe that was the giveaway.

    1. 30.1
      hauntfox

      Pretty much the same here… apparently women don’t like science, motorcycles, and “fitness”

  31. 31
    elmo14

    45-54 male. Should I feel flattered since I’m 25 or embarresed for the idiocy of my generation skewing the scale?

  32. 32
    Michael Brew

    Seems pretty accurate for me. Though… I can’t imagine from where they got that I have an interest in water sports. I don’t even… oh… wait. That’s right. Porn.

  33. 33
    FlyingToaster

    Teh Google can’t figure me out. NoScript with googleleadservices and google-analytics forcibly blocked (use about:config and edit noscript.untrusted manually).

    Your browser’s cookies seem to be disabled. Ads Preferences will not work until you enable cookies in your browser.

    It’s okay. I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t peg me as a small kitchen electrical appliance no matter what I browse ;(

  34. 34
    macallan

    Your categories
    Computers & Electronics – Electronics & Electrical – Electronic Components
    News – Politics – Campaigns & Elections
    People & Society – Social Issues & Advocacy
    Science – Earth Sciences – Paleontology

    Your demographics
    Age: 55-64
    Gender: Male

    They got some of my interests right. I guess it shows that I use google mostly for finding data sheets, random wikipedia articles and sometimes specific news articles. I’m 37 years old though.

  35. 35
    Sithrazer

    I don’t use google to do searches, and I’ve got AdBlock Plus set up to block the google analytics scripts, so apparently I don’t exist.

  36. 36
    Natalie Reed

    Wait… was ANYONE here recognized as female? Anyone at all?

    Or does that require you spend all your time searching for vacuum cleaners and baking supplies?

    They got my age range right. And pegged one of my interests as “society & people – social issues and advocacy”… so that’s close enough, I guess…

    1. 36.1
      FlyingToaster

      I expect that if you do searches for disposable diapers, baby bottles, or sanitary products, Google will assume you’re female.

      If they could track me, what would they think of searches for “4.5 inch Disney Fairies clothing” and “metal shell polycarbonate furniture casters”? Or worse, “LED replacement auradescent candelabra bulbs, bulk”.

      I shudder to think.

    2. 36.2
      Susannah

      Pink vacuum cleaners.

  37. 37
    Cunning Pam

    Well, it got my age correct and a few of my interests were spot on. But it thought I was male. Based on the responses here, like Natalie I’m starting to wonder whether Google thinks teh intarwebs is only for menz! And I had done plenty of shopping before installing AdBlock, including deciding on and sourcing a vacuum, an induction cooktop, and (female) exercise wear. *shrug*

  38. 38
    David

    Bastards! They think I’m 65+, I have opted out. That could be like 70, I’m not even 50, cheeky bastards! And i dont look a day over not even 50

    David

  39. 39
    janeymack

    Google thinks I am male and 55–64 years old. I am female and in a slightly younger age category. They have correctly noticed my interest in Paleontology, and they have my locality pegged reasonably accurately, but…TV Dramas? Finance? Construction & Maintenance? Not sure where they’re getting all that.

    That’s ok. It infuriates me that they want to follow me all over the web and “tailor” my ad ‘experience” according to my interests. I don’t want them to tailor my ad experience–I do not, in fact, *want* an ad experience. I ignore ads whenever possible. Time to install an adblocker, methinks.

    1. 39.1
      David

      janey, there is an option to “opt out” I took. Now they dont know my age, and, more importantly, they dont add 20 years to it.

      David, UK

      1. janeymack

        Thanks, David. I will have to go do that.

  40. 40
    Kapitano

    Apparently, I’m an 18-24 year old male, into martial arts and shopping.

    One of these is correct. Either that or the 40 year old man into linguistics and computing is an imposter.

  41. 41
    Tabby Lavalamp

    Though Google thinks my iPhone is owned by a 45-54 year old man, which I can only attribute to a lot of time spent on the /b/.

    I can’t think of any good reason anyone would spend more than five seconds on that site…

  42. 42
    Aquaria

    Arts & Entertainment – Entertainment Industry – Recording Industry – Record Labels

    Pets & Animals

    Pets & Animals – Pets – Cats

    Pets & Animals – Wildlife

    I figured out where the Record Label stuff came from. Last year, I cleaned up my ITunes catalogue, which consisted of looking up assorted classical music labels about some of their CDs (CDDB is a crap database). I did that for, oh, a couple of weeks.

    And I haven’t gone back.

    The Pets & Animals stuff? Okay, so I check out what’s been going on with Maru every other month or so, and even less frequently follow some of PZ’s Monday Metazoan links.

    Google also thinks I’m a 25-34 y/o male. My 50 y/o female body wants to lodge a complaint here. If I’m going to be a 25-34 y/o male, I want to look like this: http://imageshack.us/f/214/sterimaz0008s.jpg/ Rather than how I do now.

  43. 43
    Steve

    65+! It off by nearly 25 years.

    It’s probably basing that on my interest in ROK/DPRK politics. (Yeah, that’s it!)

  44. 44
    Dave

    65+ male. (4o-45 male, actual)

    Science, social advocacy, politics.

    Apparently Google assumes only seniors care about the society in which they live. I think perhaps the wizened tea party set is slanting this demographic with all of their Dick Armey driven internet Astroturf activity.

  45. 45
    Keith Harwood

    Picked me correctly as an old fart, but it thinks I am interested in cooking and recipes. No idea where that came from.

  46. 46
    Grave

    Looks like Google has moved this information to some other place.

  47. 47
    Mommiest

    They think I’m a man, 55-60 years old. Essentially, they think I’m my husband.

  48. 48
    Moo

    They pegged me as a 35-40 year old man. I am a 23 year female. Guess I like the news too much…lol!

  49. 49
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