Groupon, According to Google Autocomplete: A Ponzi Scheme, Dead, Bad, Stupid

By Alexis C. Madrigal
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Yikes. Google's users do not have a soft spot for today's big tech IPO, Groupon. As you can see above, these are the top ways to finish the search "Groupon is...": 1) a ponzi scheme 2) dead 3) bad and 4) stupid.

Of course, Google's autocomplete isn't a good test of what Groupon *actually* is, but it is an interesting indicator of the general sentiment surrounding the company. If you want a complete upbeat take on the company's fortunes, check out Business Insider analyst Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry's extensive analysis. He's concluded that Groupon's critics are insane.

"Whatever else, Groupon has accomplished amazing things; it's invented a new industry, it's outgrown literally hundreds of rivals, it's created tremendous benefits for consumers and stakeholders," Gobry wrote. "And it's a whipping boy. Why? Because anyone who's successful fast on the internet must be a fraud. It's twisted."

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It's worth noting that many companies don't get a very nice treatment from autocomplete, not even Google itself. "Google is..." receives the following autocompletes: 1) evil 2) God 3) skynet and 4) gay. (The last response seems to be proof that homophobia is absolutely everywhere on the Internet.) Then again, companies that are notoriously loved, say, Zappos, do get a nice response.

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This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2011/11/groupon-according-to-google-autocomplete-a-ponzi-scheme-dead-bad-stupid/247904/