Google Poetics FAQ

What is this?

Google Poetics is born when Google autocomplete suggestions are viewed as poems. This blog is run by its founder Sampsa Nuotio.

How to submit a poem?

Google autocomplete suggestions differ greatly between local Google versions (google.com, google.co.uk, google.it…). Your results also vary depending on whether you are logged in to your Google account or not.

Remember that Google updates the suggestions constantly – no poem is set in stone. If you manage to catch an awesome poem, make sure to take a screenshot right away.

Due to the sheer amount of submissions we receive, we only accept them via email. We do not take submissions via Twitter, nor do we retweet poems tweeted to us, but if you wish to get your poetic findings out there faster, we suggest using the Twitter hashtag #GooglePoems.

Do this:

  • Find a great poem, one that does something to you.
  • Grab a screenshot of the Google search box and crop it exactly the same way as the poems already published on the blog. The ideal width is around 600px. General screenshot instructions can be found on Wikipedia. Retain the whole width of the search box, even if the poem does not fill it up completely.
Screenshot of search engine autocomplete suggestions for 'why f' with 'why Finland' and 'why Finnish is so difficult'.
  • Save the image as png, jpg or gif, use the first line of the poem as the filename.
  • Send it as an email attachment to [email protected].

Don’t send…

  • Doctored / manipulated poems. You may crop entire lines off the end for shorter length, otherwise leave them as is.
  • Other file formats
  • Photos of your computer screen
  • Links to image files elsewhere on the internet
  • Uncropped screen captures
  • Poems that don’t sing to you in one way or the other

By sticking to these guidelines your submission will have the best chances of ending up on the blog. However, the queue of reader submissions is several hundred poems long, and it does not seem to be getting any shorter. So, please send only your best poems and be patient!

I get totally different results, are these poems doctored?

Google autocomplete suggestions differ greatly between local Google versions (google.com, google.co.uk, google.it…). Your results also vary depending on whether you are logged in to your Google account or not.

Some poems have been cropped for shorter length, removing the last line / lines completely, but no other editing is done. With reader submitted poems it is difficult to be 100% sure, but we do our best to filter out any manipulated images.

Why don’t you credit the people who have sent the poems?

Typically the same poem, or nearly the same, is sent to us by several people. Taking into account the amount of submissions we get, it would be impossible to keep track of things and someone would always feel done wrong. Also, we don’t wish to differentiate which poems are made by the curators and which by the readers.

The Longform Google Poems are an exception, more on them below.

Longform Google Poems

In March 2013, we did a special World Poetry Day Challenge in which we asked our readers to create longer poems by combining existing or new Google poems. We loved the results, and would like to make this a permanent part of the blog. As one of our readers pointed out, shouldn’t every day be poetry day?

Use an image editor to combine the screen captures under each other and save the result as png/jpg/gif.

Send the poem as an email attachment to [email protected] with LONGFORM as the subject line. Let us know the title of the poem and how you wish to be credited as the author.

Here is an example of Longform Google Poetry:

Drunkard’s confession, by Martina

Many thanks to all of our readers who have submitted poems, keep them coming!

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