Everything You Needed To Know About Social Work In One Google Search

Sean Erreger LCSW
3 min readOct 11, 2017


….Well… maybe…

The Google search auto-fill is often interesting. There are often humorous examples posted on social media like…

I am not an expert on search but just a few observations from this. Google’s algorithm this is how people are talking about Charles Darwin on the internet. This post was inspired by coming across this tweet…

I immediately started to wonder what people are asking social work can do…

Some amusing things in there but also some interesting asks. Role clarification for social work is complex. The public often doesn’t always understand what we do. Sometimes even within our own profession we disagree what it is that we do. However answering questions like “can we diagnose autism?” and “can social workers be school counselors?” can help the public come to a greater understanding of what we do. I also found “Can social workers be friends with former clients?” Not sure if this meant online or in real life but either way an important question.

Even more interesting was the search “Can Therapists…”

You can see some legit ethical questions (along with some silly ones). According to Google algorithms, these are the burning questions the public wants to know. I would encourage you to Google your profession and ask what it “can” do. It was fascinating to see how people are talking about it and the conversation continued on twitter..

Very interesting! This is super helpful to know, how can we use it to help teach? #socialwork

— Liz Sarantopoulos (@LizSaran_LICSW) October 8, 2017

Yep, the algorithm is based on many factors (location, most popular searches, what you’ve searched previously). Def some teachable moments!

— Sean Hagey (@SeanHagey) October 8, 2017

This would be an interesting class assignment at the graduate and undergraduate level. On could go deeper into the search results and write about that. Also if you are a blogger with writers block this may be good fodder for a post (very meta because you are reading this post now). It may be helpful for organizations to craft a marketing campaign. Do a search “Can <your organization>?>

I also encourage people to Google themselves to assess what people could be saying about them. This is a good practice to manage your online reputation. It is interesting how Google can tell a small but important tale about you, your organization, and your profession.

Would also like to hear stories of what other people have learned from Google searches. Please feel free to comment below, tweet me at @stuckonsw or also email stuckonsw@gmail.com



Sean Erreger LCSW

blogger, consultant #socialwork, #mentalhealth, suicide prevention. How tech & Social Media is changing change…blog: www.StuckOnSocialWork.Com