Why do People Care About Kenneth Frazier’s Wife?

May 1, 2012

Google Search Suggestions are a window into what people think about you and/or your brand.

As one of our primary research and development efforts at Five Blocks we systematically analyze information that can help us understand how brands are perceived online.

Our research has recently led to some interesting observations, one of which I’d like to share.

Over the past 6 months, some 40% of Fortune 100 CEOs’ names have been associated with family-related terms in Google Search Suggest. Meaning when searchers type in the name of the CEO, they see something like ‘family,’ ‘wife,’ or ‘son’ as one of the auto-completes suggested by Google.

Kenneth Frazier Merck wife

Searching Kenneth Frazier (CEO of Merck) results in the suggestion Kenneth Frazier Wife

We found this interesting, as this presumably reflects searcher interest in these terms. It also suggests that companies and individuals should consider managing this search result. By this I mean figuring out what type of content will satisfy the searchers without, for instance, infringing too much on the individual’s privacy.

It also may be interesting for companies to analyze the timing associated with the appearance of these search suggestions. Do searchers look at a CEO’s family at a time when they feel confident about the CEO? Is it in crisis? It’s even possible that the appearance of these and other suggestions may be associated with changes in sentiment toward the individual by company and are therefore related to rises or falls in share prices.

We think this is just scratching the surface of what we can learn from Search Suggest. Stay tuned…


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