Online Spy Shop, with the help of a team of international data scientists, has uncovered the most common Google searches made about our loved ones and close relations – and the results are…interesting to say the least. So if you’ve ever turned to Google because of suspicions about a cheating wife, or wondered what your boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife or even children or distant relatives want to know about you but are too afraid to ask, we’ve got the answers.
The vast majority of family-related Google searches were related to infidelity, mental health and emotional abuse.
- The most common spouse-related searches were about infidelity
- The biggest question about boyfriends – “is my boyfriend gay?”
- The most common question about dads – “Is my dad alive?”
- Searches about children were typically health and welfare related
- Teeth grinding sons, daughters with lice and farting brothers were also common sources of curiosity
- Stepsisters were the least Googled family members.
Using data collected from Google’s autocomplete function, the data team were able to measure which queries were most frequently made based on the suggestions Google offered. The data team sampled Google’s suggestions over 5 days, using numerous devices and browsers, to control for biases.
Wives and girlfriends – Having an affair? Pregnant? Depressed?
Searches from suspicious spouses dominated Google’s suggestions for wives and girlfriends, but concern about mental health was also a common theme.
For searches beginning with ‘Why does my wife…’ Google suggested “hate me?” “ignore me” and “fart?”.
Husbands and boyfriends – Cheating? Secretly gay? Looking at porn?
The most common searches about husbands and boyfriends were related to infidelity, but when the search term was modified from “my…” to “why does my…”, Google suggested “hate me?” for boyfriend and “lie?” for husbands.
Husbands came across badly in the study. The three most common searches starting with “Why does my husband…” were “lie?”, “snore?” and “look at porn?”
Parents – Narcissists? Abusive? Alive?
Searches about parents were more varied, ranging from the heartbreaking “is my dad alive?” to the more positive “is my mum pregnant?”.
Mental health and wellbeing were the dominant themes for searches related to children.
Sibling squabbles appear to drive the participants to Google in search of answers.
“Is my brother annoying?” was the most common yet seemingly unnecessary search about brothers, while sisters drove their siblings to ask “Is my sister an idiot?”
Extended family and in-laws
The nature of the queries became more trivial with extended family and in-laws.
Step siblings and step parents
The least Googled family members were step sisters. Google made no autocomplete suggestions for “is my step sister…”, indicating that it doesn’t hold enough data related to that search term to complete the phrase.
When the search was modified to “does my step sister…” Google suggested ‘does my step sister hate me?”
The Full List
|First suggestion||Second suggestion||Third suggestion|
|Is my||Boyfriend||Gay||Cheating on me||Using me?|
|Is my||Wife||Cheating||Having an affair||Depressed|
|Is my||Mum/mom||Pregnant||Emotionally abusive||Jealous of me|
|Is my||Mother||A narcissist||Emotionally abusive||A sociopath|
|Is my||Dad||Alive||A narcissist||Autistic|
|Is my||Father||Abusive||A sociopath||Autistic|
|Is my||Brother||Annoying||An idiot||Fat|
|Is my||Sister||An idiot||Annoying||A narcissist|
|Is my||Sister-in-law||Jealous of me||Attracted to me||Flirting with me|
|Is my||Brother-in-law||My mahram||Attracted to me||Related to me|
|Is my||Step-sister||no data||no data||no data|
|Is my||Step-brother||My mahram||In love with me||no data|
|Is my||Stepmother/stepmom||Abusive||Jealous of me||no data|
|Is my||Step-father/stepdad||My mahram||no data||no data|
|Is my||Cousin||My mahram||Attracted to me||In love with me|
|Is my||Aunt||Capitalised||Jealous of me||s husband my uncle|
|Is my||Uncle||My mahram||My immediate family||Capitalised|
|Is my||mother-in-law||Jealous of me||Passive aggressive||A narcissist|
|Is my||father-in-law||My mahram||Brother my mahram||My relative|
Teeth grinding sons, daughters with lice and brothers who fart
As well as analysing autocomplete suggestions for terms starting with “Is my…” the team collected data from a range of other search formats.
Surprising results included:
Why does my daughter keep getting lice? (second most common search)
Why does my son grind his teeth? (second most common search)
Why does my cousin turn me on? (most common search)
Why does my brother fart so much? (fart so much)
Depressingly, the most common autocomplete suggestion of all for “why does my” was “hate me? It was the top suggestion for searches about girlfriends, boyfriends, wives, mums, dads, aunts, brother, son, daughter, sister-in-law, brother-in-law.
Steve Roberts, a cyber security and surveillance consultant at Online Spy Shop says some of the findings were surprising, but concerned spouses looking for answers certainly wasn’t.
“It sadly didn’t come as much of a surprise to us that people turn to the Internet for answers about cheating spouses. It’s such a sensitive subject that people often feel they can’t turn to friends or family.
“We’re regularly approached by distressed spouses who are considering using spy cameras or audio surveillance. By the time they come to us, they are typically convinced of infidelity and have their own evidence, but are looking for ways to prove it to assist with divorce proceedings.”
“We always advise people to familiarise themselves with the law before conducting surveillance on a suspected cheating spouse. For example, surveillance of your home or your car is typically legal, provided you’re careful with the data that you gather. Surveillance of other people’s property can be legally tricky. Always ensure you’re not invading someone’s privacy”