Dear Google: Kenya does in fact exist AND it starts with a “K” (but what’s up with your search algorithm)?

Kenyan flag

This seems comical-funny, until you remember that people rely on Google a LOT for search accuracy. It turns out that (at the time of writing) Google doesn’t think Kenya exists… sort of.

With the largest of hat tips towards Seamus Byrne over at Byteside for pointing this one out to me (though I gather it’s doing the rounds on social media), it seems that Google doesn’t seem to think Kenya exists, at least for a simple search query.

If you search “country in africa that starts with k” you’d think you’d get Kenya, right? Pretty simple answer, Google can’t possibly get that wrong… but it does.

Kenya does not start with a K. Except for that K that it starts with.


So Google knows 1,920,000,000 things about that search term — and yet the one it chooses to surface is an AI-written piece of garbage THAT DOESN’T EVEN MAKE SENSE.

This folks, is what you get when rampant SEO and AI collide. You get nonsense. I really hope they fix this quickly.

For the record: 

46.7 million people live in Kenya, other searches tell me it has migrating wildebeest, its capital is Nairobi… oh yeah, and it starts with the letter “K”.

Just in case anyone was unclear on that point.


Update: Looks like they’ve fixed it up. At least until the AI bots get another round of SEO algorithm juice to slurp on.

Still, a timely reminder that the first result that Google latches onto (beyond sponsored results) isn’t always the best one.

OR: Maybe not for everyone — I’ve had at least one reader comment that they’re still getting the terrible result above with that search. Which is both funnier and more worrying, because it suggests that Google’s nowhere near as agile at correcting search errors as we might have thought. Either that, or Kenya doesn’t start with a “K”, but instead begins with a “K”…

Update 3: This is like the idiot gift that keeps on giving — I can get the result on some browsers but not others. If anyone is confused, see the “For the record” section above for clarification as to the status and spelling of “Kenya”.

I’m also informed that the search phrase may also be a Reddit/Troll thing… which doesn’t remove from the fact that Google really ought to do a little better than this…

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