May 23, 2013
Google Trends Lets You Track What The World Is Searching For
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
Every now and then, Google likes to remind us just how much they know about the things we like, the things we´re interested in, and the people we´d like to see experience some sort of wardrobe malfunction. Earlier this month, Google´s YouTube released a data map which revealed what videos are popular amongst certain demographics. They even release top search information at the end of every year, their Year-End Zeitgeist, to commemorate the year´s top queries.
“œEver wonder what the world is searching for? With Google Trends, you can see what's hot right now, and also explore the history and geography of a topic as it evolves,“ writes Roni Rabin, a software engineer for Google in an official blog post.
“œToday you'll find new charts of the most-searched people, places and things in more than 40 categories, from movies to sports teams to tourist attractions.“
These new charts go all the way back to 2004 to show exactly how specific topics have evolved over time. For instance, with these new charts, basketball fans can see the peaks and troughs of Michael Jordan´s Google popularity going back nearly ten years. This information is laid out on a grid with numbers, which may or may not be the most accurate representation of Google popularity. Since 2004, Jordan´s popularity has dipped up and down between “œ60“ and “œ20“ until February 2013 where his popularity hit “œ100.“ A note on the chart says that 100 represents “œpeak search interest,“ or 10 percent of the overall searches. “œThis doesn´t convey absolute search volume,“ says Google in a disclaimer.
From the same chart, Bulls, White Sox and Golf fans can see the states where Jordan is most likely to trend (surprise, surprise: it´s Illinois).
Just as it´s been in real life, Kobe Bryant is hot on Jordan´s heels in terms of Google popularity.
Rabin says these results are based on the Knowledge Graph, meaning these numbers are representative of tangible people, places and things instead of meaningless keywords.
“œTop Charts provide our most accurate search volume rankings, but no algorithm is perfect, so on rare occasion you may find anomalies in the data.“
Google´s new charts host the usual categories like actors, athletes, movies, musical artists and people. According to the data at the time of this writing, Selena Gomez (a staple in these kinds of charts) is topping the actors list, beating out Justin Timberlake and Miley Cyrus. Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant top the athletes´ list, with Bryant rising to catch Jordan on a hot streak. The world seems enamored with Iron Man 3 for the moment, with Pitch Perfect and Jurassic Park falling in spots two and three, and Kim Kardashian topping the list of most searched people. Justin Beiber also tops this list with Michael Jordan and Selena Gomez, winners in their own specific categories.