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Google-Labs-Logo.pngUnfortunately I missed the Google’s Sets Project, one of the first outputs from Google Labs that helped build sets based on a few key values. For instance, a set of “red, green, yellow” would yield more colours. The project was discontinued in 2011 but luckily it still lives on as a function in Google spreadsheets.

Open a new Google spreadsheet and simply input a couple of values. Then highlight them and drag down to expand the column while holding ctrl key down. Google will then try to fill in the list of values, based on the data associations from the Sets project.

That’s fun for lists of cars, countries and types of cheeses but I wondered how this would work for sets of bloggers. My quick test on a few key fashion blogs gave some interesting results, see the image below. Although there were duplications, my initial set of 14 names (in blue) generated over 50 new suggestions in a couple of minutes.


A few side notes to this technique. Firstly, now that the Sets project has closed down these data associations are not pulled from current index. However if you’re looking for seasoned bloggers that may not be such a bad thing. Secondly bloggers need to have impacted Google’s index sufficiently to have these associations. Small or unknown names will not generate any results. Again, this this may suit your purposes but something to keep in mind.

Lastly, it’s worth mixing and matching the pairs to generate different lists. As with most tools, the quality of data you put in will determine the quality of the data you get out.

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Lead SEO, Group Optimisation at Vodafone. Founder at E3 Business Incubator, a consultancy group helping enterprises and start-ups. Digital strategist and veteran SEO/SEM. Views are my own and not representative of my employer (more).

2 Responses to Using Google Sets To Generate Blogger Lists

  1. Hi Nick,
    Great info. Unfortunately it appears that for the near future the Google Sets features will not be available for Google Docs. They say they will replace this withe improved features, without any indication on when or how.
    You can find the official Google announcement here:
    If you have any update on this, or any alternative method to achieve similar results, it would be great if you could post about it.

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