Thursday, August 20, 2009

Google Trends: John, Paul, George, Ringo

How interesting that searches for these four names should, by and large, reflect the relative artistic and critical significances of the four Beatles in question, with ‘John’ towering over the rest, followed by ‘Paul’ and ‘George’ in close succession and with ‘Ringo’ fading into insignificance at only one-ninety-fifth of John’s search count.

Obviously, of course, the vast majority of people searching for Johns, Pauls and Georges are looking for people other than Messrs. Lennon, McCartney and Harrison. A certain papal death, for example, explains the twin spikes on ‘John’ and ‘Paul’ in early 2005 (at exactly the same time that I imagine ‘Benedict’ searches climb above Ringo-levels). It’s tough, on the other hand, to imagine any reason other than Mr. Starr why people might be searching for the word ‘Ringo’.

It is quite interesting, I think, that all four of these search terms seem to be dropping with time. I don’t think there are fewer Johns in the world today than there were in 2004. I wonder if it merely means that fewer people are using Google to find people these days: thank you Facebook?

Quick facts: Peruvians love Ringo the most (probably because the word means something in Spanish), Australians George, the Irish Paul and the English George.

Giving the Beatles surnames confirms the roll call, with Lennon at number one and poor Richard Starkey in the basement. Turns out it’s the Norwegians who love Mr. Conductor most, the Argentineans who love the Hindu sitarist, Canadians who love Macca and Mexicans who love Mr. Ono.

Can anyone explain that massive spike in John Lennon Googling at the end of 2005?

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