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Searching through your Google search history

Chances are you probably have your entire Google search history available for you to download. If you are logged into Google while you do searches, it keeps track of all your search terms. Many people are afraid of other’s finding their Google search history. I find it absolutely fascinating.

Looking through your search history is like looking through a photo album, or even a diary. Many of my 2015 searches are related to wedding queries, as I was getting ready to be married that year. Now many of my searches are about raising a baby.

Today I was Googling Pierre Bonnard quotes to respond to an Art Institute tweet celebrating the artist’s birthday. While doing that search, I wondered what other people’s quotes have I googled?

Since 2010, I have googled for quotations from 36 different people:

  • Alf
  • Amelia Earhart
  • Andy Warhol
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger
  • Back to the Future
  • Bird quotes
  • Charles Spurgeon
  • Constellation love
  • Cookie Monster
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Darth Vader
  • Donald Judd
  • George Washington
  • Gumbi
  • Henry David Thoreau
  • John Tyler
  • Johnny Five
  • Joseph Beuys
  • László Moholy-Nagy
  • Leonid Brezhnev
  • Lincoln
  • Marju Lauristin
  • Martin Luther
  • Matt Maldre
  • Megatron
  • Mister Krabs
  • Mortal Kombat
  • Paul Cezanne
  • Return of the Jedi
  • Richard Serra
  • Robin of Batman
  • Star Wars
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  • Woodrow Wilson
  • Yoda
  • Zelda

alf-and-amelia-earhart-1000w

Quite a nice eclectic mix of sources for quotes!

I googled Joseph Beuys and László Moholy-Nagy quotes twice. Standing at the top of the list is Yoda. On three separate occasions, Yoda’s wisdom has been calling me.

It would be cool to have a simple online tool that would spit out this sort of list. It would get access to your Google search history and pull out all your searches that include either the word “quote” or “quotation”.

Instead, what I did was download my search history via Google Takeout (which by the way, if you  haven’t done this yet, it’s a good idea to have a backup of your entire Google account. Take control of your data!). The files will be organized by month in multiple .json files. Each file is one single line with all the searches you did for that month. If I was smart with .json I would write some sort of program to analyze the files. Instead I just did a multi-file search with TextWrangler to pull out all the searches with “quote” and “quotation”.

If you happen to analyze your Google searches for your queries about quotes, who is in your list?

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