Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Google Insights: Wikileaks and Wikipedia

So Julian Assange's rage-against-the-machine website Wikileaks actually, for one brief shining moment, overtook Wikipedia regarding Google searches. Funny that people Google Wikipedia at all - but it's probably because they don't use a dot-com address. Wikipedia surely must be the most-visited website not to use a .com domain name - or at least the most-visited American site not to.

Anyway, it turns out that Wikileaks is most-sought in Mozambique, Albania, Kenya, Lebanon and Ethiopia - a relatively random list of countries, three of which are in Africa (Uganda and Tanzania are also in the top-ten, leaving an unbroken strip of countriesrunning down the Indian Ocean coast of Africa). The fourth- and seventh-most-searched expression regarding Wikileaks is 'wikileaks en español' (with or without the 'en'), indicating that there are plenty of hispanophones hoping Wikileaks will translate those hundreds of thousands of pages into Spanish for them. Er, who live in Western Africa... Well, in all fairness Cuba is number seven on the list (and that just feels so completely appropriate), though it's the only Spanish-speaking country in the top-ten.

Among countries Googling Wikipedia, though, amazingly eight of the top-ten are Spanish-speaking (Cuba, Mexico, Honduras, Spain, Paraguay, Panama, Colombia, Nicaragua - the only exceptions are Italy and Finland). I have no idea why that is, though I could mention that while all foreign-language Wikipedias are hosted at, they don't all call themselves 'Wikipedia'. Some call themselves, for example, ውክፔዲያ, Ƿikipǣdia, Vikipediya, વિકિપીડિયા, 維基百科, Viquipèdia, ᐅᐃᑭᐱᑎᐊ, വിക്കിപീഡിയ, Viqùipédie or Wikkipedija.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Google Insights: Santa's Reindeer

So in honour of the Christmas season... a quick look at Santa's reindeer. The first four, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen:

No real surprises here, that 'dancer' is most popular by far, followed by 'vixen' (both oddly enough highest-ranked in the Philippines). Or that nobody really ever searches for 'dasher' or 'prancer' (the last one really only shows up in connection with 'Flavor of Love' in some way I don't care to understand) - oddly enough, those two are most popular in the USA, and they do have peaks each December, though you have to take the other two search terms out to recognise that.

The second one, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen:

A bit odd here. I certainly wasn't expecting Comet to tower over the competition, entirely due to the UK, and also seasonal. Turns out "Comet" and "Currys" are electrical retailers in the UK that, I guess, are popular around Christmas? I wasn't surprised that 'blitzen' was most searched-for in Germany. I was surprised, though, that Belgium, France and the Côte D'Ivoire led for 'donner'. I've quite honestly gone my entire life without ever once thinking that the French verb for 'to give' and the seventh reindeer are spelt the same. 'Cupid' is (by a large margin) most searched-for in Myanmar, for some reason. But it's noteworthy that 'cupid' also has a seasonal trend - but not revolving around December. Cupid is most searched-for in February. Which makes sense. Poor Cupid has to work overtime on two different special days. Draw back your bow and let your arrow go.