Reputation precedes us in Googleland

A good reputation sticks around, even though it is six years since New Plymouth was named "most liveable," according to the internet search engine Google.

Type "Why is New Plymouth" into the search bar and the auto- complete function displays the most popular search suggestion: Why is New Plymouth the best city to live in?

Google says national preoccupations are hard to gauge but a survey of popular search questions gives an unbiased insight into what people want to know about a place.

And that puts New Plymouth head and shoulders ahead of other New Zealand centres, mainly on account of being named "most liveable city" by a UN-sponsored survey in 2008.

Type "Why is Auckland so . . ." into your search bar and Google's auto-complete function displays the most popular search suggestions: why is Auckland so humid, expensive or boring? Why is Auckland traffic so bad?

People want to know why Wellington is so windy, boring and cold.

A lot of places in New Zealand don't have the search volume to generate suggestions and some unlucky towns share a name with a more famous version overseas but it is still hard to explain why folk of Whanganui want to know why the KFC in their city is closed.

A spokeswoman for Google said the auto-complete search terms were based on a number factors, including the popularity of search terms and what was already on the web.

People also searched why the North Island "is better than the South Island" and why the South Island "is called the Mainland".

Google is also good for settling trans-Tasman scores. While people want to know why Australia is so "hot/flat/dry", we get "why is New Zealand so good at sport"? Fairfax NZ

Taranaki Daily News