Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Google Trends

I’ve discovered Google Hot Trends recently and must confess I’ve become a little addicted to it. Google Hot Trends allows you to see what people are searching for on any given day. How does it work? According to the “About Google Trends” page, “Rather than showing the most popular searches overall, which would always be generic terms like 'weather,' Hot Trends highlights searches that experience sudden surges in popularity, and updates that information hourly.”

With a listing of the 100 top searches on Google, you can get a rough idea of what’s going on in the news or what the hot topic is for the day. It’s really quite interesting to see what catches peoples’ curiosity (an ironic statement, I guess). For instance, let’s take a look at yesterday. I like to look at the previous day in order to have a full day’s worth of search data to peruse.

Any guesses on what the hot search item for Dec. 2, 2008 was? Perhaps some celebrities’ new hairdo (a la Katie Couric)? Nope. How about Obama’s cabinet member choices? Nope again.

Try Horatio Magellan.

Next question, who in the world is Horatio Magellan?!? And more importantly (at least, to an analyst like myself), what in the world would cause people to search for him? Ready for this?

Horatio Magellan is none other than the full name of that beloved, nautical commander of the sugar-laden seas, Cap’n Crunch. If his mother ever got angry with, she would apparently call out “Horatio Magellan Crunch!!” (he wasn’t Cap’n yet) Pretty cool name, if you ask me.

That brings us to the next question of what would cause people to search for the Cap’n’s full identity. Was it parents preparing to bring a lawsuit over nervous breakdowns due to cereal-induced, hyper active kids and needing to know who to cite? Give the answer in the form of a question and you’ll be spot on. What is Jeopardy? Correct! The answer on last night’s Final Jeopardy round quizzed the contestants on the full identity of the good Cap’n: “What cereal box spokesman has the first and middle names Horatio Magellan?"

There you have it, all courtesy of Google Trends. And just for grins and giggles, the #6 search was for the Fibonacci sequence. Google that for more information.

1 comment:

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