Saturday, December 26, 2009

Google Insights: 2010

Now there's a classic j-curve for the new year. Obviously, the amount that people have been Googling 2010 has drastically increased recently as we've, well, approached 2010. The pretty graph you get if you factor in other years besides looks like this:

2010 ain't seen nothing yet, searchwise. On this chart, I love how each year shows a little bit more searches and how each year has peaks and valleys unique to it. Like fingerprints.

Back to the year in question, some random stats:
  • The country googling 2010 with the greatest frequency: Eritrea.
  • The rest of the top five: Togo, Ethiopia, Cameroon, South Africa, all in Africa.
  • American state googling it most (per capita): Virginia (by a long shot).
  • Canadian subnational entity: Northwest Territories.
  • German land: Hessen (by a long shot).
  • In China: Beijing.
  • Most searched 2010-related phrase: "pes 2010" (whatever that means).
  • Primary search categories in which '2010' features: Sports, Society, Automotive, Entertainment, Local and Computers and Electronics.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Google Insights: Santa Claus

The man of many names, the man in the Coca-Cola red suit... he who brings gifts down the chimney; that's right, it's the effeminately-named Santa Claus! Or, before the distortion, St. Nicholas. Or Father Christmas. Or Kris Kringle. Or...

There are definitely historical reasons why the big guy parades around with so many different names. At 12 to 1 to 1 to 0 respectively, on the worldwide count "Santa Claus" definitely wins as most-searched, as this chart shows:

No surprises that people search for Santa more in December than, say, April, right?

Anyway, let's see what that domination looks like from country to country. As global internet-leader, it's no surprise that the American search trends resemble the global ones, at 13 to 2 to 0 to 0. Note that "Father Christmas" and "Kris Kringle" are all but unknown in the States.

What about across the pond in the UK? Well, definitely a different story there. Santa Claus still leads the pack, but it's 11 to 1 to 10 to 0, so Father Christmas is an alias almost as popular.

Australia? At 14 to 0 to 2 to 3, Santa wins but Kris Kringle gets an unexpected second-place ranking. Neighbour New Zealand does not share Kringlophilia, though: 11 to 0 to 2 to 0.

Canada takes Santaphilia to new heights, at 16 to 1 to 0 to 0, although being bilingual, if we add 'Pere Noel' to the list, it gets a count of 7 (by the way, I'm tossing these numbers around, but I'm not quite sure what, if anything, they represent).

Other English-speaking countries? Ireland: 10 to 0 to 1 to 0. Jamaica: 4 to 0 to 0 to 0. Nigeria: 5 to 0 to 0 to 0. South Africa: 9 to 0 to 11 to 0 (the first time Santa Claus doesn't top the list. I tried adding an Afrikaner term, but "Kersvader", "Kerstman" and "Sinterklaas" didn't get me far).

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Google Insights: the Simpsons

The TV family "The Simpsons" has five members, in order of age Homer, Marge, Lisa, Bart and Maggie. If you look up Google stats connected to these five names, this is what you get:

Unsurprisingly, Homer and Bart are the most searched. It is a strange phenomenon that cartoons are very male-dominated: cartoon 'stars' are inevitably male, and what female characters exist tend to do so only in relation to the male leads: as girlfriends or family members. The Simpsons is 'about' Homer and Bart in a way it's not 'about' the other three, even if they occasionally have episodes devoted to them.

Comically, the recent Playboy featuring Marge has created a mammoth spike. Meaning that what intrigues people the most is naked cartoons. Ah, the male psyche, how I love thee.

Some other insights... Aussies lead the world in searches for every Simpson family member except Bart. Aussies come in at only #5 for Bart, while Uruguay leads the pack. Uruguay features no internet searches at all for the other four Simpsons. Hm.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Google Insights: potato

This time a blog dedicated merely to a certain word and to what we can dig up associated with it. The humble potato.

It's a nicely seasonal graph to be sure, with potato searching peaking in autumn. The overall country stats rather bizarrely feature Thailand foremost among potato googlers (where the fact that 'potato mp3' is a popular search m akes me think we're not talking tubers) before the English-speaking world features (#2 USA, #3 Australia, #4 Canada, #5 Zimbabwe...). Subnationally, there are no surprises that in the USA Idaho leads in potato searching and in Canada PEI leads. The Americans search most often for 'sweet potato', though 'baked potato', 'potato salad' and 'potato soup' rank ('potato chips' encouragingly comes in only at #10). In Britain, 'potato recipe' beats 'sweet potato' as the most popular search term, while intriguingly 'leek potato soup' comes in at #6 and, most intriguingly, 'jacket potato' and 'baked potato' are practically tied at #7 and #8 respectively ('jacket potato' is the British terminology for what Americans call 'baked potato'). Dan Quayle would be pleased to know that 'potatoe' (sic.) is the 9th most common potato-related search in the UK.

This blog mentions in it.