Google Trends-iness

Mark Morford has inspired me again. Today’s column was on Google Trends, a handy service where you can look up which places in the world most often use Google to surf the Internet for certain terms (stats change daily). Morford discovers that Elmhurst, IL, for example, is the US city that most often looks up “anal sex” and “porn.”

Morford is wise in noting that this is more pseudo-information than truly useful fact. I definitely see the trend he sees in Elmhurst, but if I look up “feminist,” is it feminists or anti-feminists who are looking it up most? What do “global trends” mean when we have language issues (what is the equivalent word for “feminism” in Polish, Hindu, or Zulu)? Clearly, this tool has serious limitations. …But it’s addictive.

Here are some of the Googlicious factoids I discovered today:

Nowhere in the world do people look up the term “Christ” more frequently than in Nashville, TN, but it is Ashland City, TN and Lebanon, TN that top the list for looking up “Nashville.”

Delhi, India is the #1 city on the planet for looking up “namaste,” “masturbate,” and “hero.”

Halifax, Canada is off the charts on the term “empire,” with New York, London, and other US, UK, Canadian, and Australian cities trailing far behind.

Washington DC is champion for “feminist,” “genocide,” and “nuclear.”

The US is nowhere in the top ten for looking up either “Islam” or “clitoris.”

“War” is looked up much, much more often than “peace.”

...What can you learn today?

No comments: