“What is Climate?” Fun Search Statistics

Posted: December 9, 2010 in Webtheory
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

So, most of my posts are theory-leaden and complicated, right? Here’s a light one for a change. It’s notorious that Google is faster predicting breakouts of flu than the US Centres for Disease Control. How do they do it? Quite simply: they analyze what people search for. And by the way, they make the results available for anyone to look at. I’ve always been wondering what else you could understand by looking at what people search for. Google let’s you do so. And because Google is basically the window to the internet for most people, what people search for on Google should be very insightful. If you can read the results. Which is hard. Once it a while I play around with their “Insights for Search” trying to find something significant. I prepared a little parcours for you. It takes you from Solutions over Sex to Climate Change. Go ahead!

Google Insights for Search: Regional Search for “Solutions”

So India is looking for solutions. Right. But, given that the number one associated search terms are “Software Solutions”, “IT Solutions” and “Business Solutions”, India doesn’t seem to bad off. And while the US are looking for “Network Solutions”, “Business Solutions”, “Global Solutions” and “Health Solutions” (in this order), South Africa is also into IT. For the other African countries the Statistics aren’t precisely rich, as there is only one city in each of them that seems to have sufficient internet access to figure in Google’s region list (which is also a result of the search, somehow ). Well, now the real question is: who’s looking for…Problems?

Google Insights for Search: Regional Search for “Problems”

For Lesotho and all the other countries of this list, the situation is not different than for the aforementioned African ones. Each of these countries is basically one city for Google. And there are no country-specific associated search terms. On a global level, the list of the kinds of problems that people try to solve on the internet speaks for itself… .

Google Insights for Search: Global Top Searches Related to “Problems”

So, basically you are using what exactly to solve the problems you have with your computer? Oh! A computer. Sure.

Now, how the search term number one (at least it used to be when the internet started to become (in)famous, basically when I was a kid. I know you’ve been waiting. So here it goes: Sex: Yeah, not only Sex, but even better:

Google Insights for Search: Regional Interest for “Free Sex”

Not really what you’d expect here. Well, my hypothesis is that in the US, the world’s biggest porn market, people have had the internet long enough to be more precise about their interests. Much more precise…

I’d only like to mention that this doesn’t reflect interest in free sex in a country, but interest in the results for “free sex” online of those with internet access.

Comparison of Searches for “Free Sex” (blue) and “Problems” (red)

Or more generally speaking:

Comparison of Searches for “Sex” (blue) and “Problems” (red)

Well, I couldn’t say that this comes as much of a surprise…

But let’s get serious again:

Google Insights for Search: Regional Interest for “Climate Change”

There doesn’t seem to be a lot of interest for the issue in what is called the “developed” countries. After all, there are more important things, like … iphone problems. Or maybe I’m doing the ESDW (English Speaking Developed World) wrong? Maybe the reason why the U.S. has a hard time signing protocols is just because – while they can well understand “CHANGE!” – they still don’t really know what that weird foreign word “climate” means! On the following chart, “What is Climate” a top related search for “Climate Change”, Australia comes forth, and the US sixth, closely followed by New Zealand, the UK, and … Canada. Wonder if this is an inverted scheme of the success of their education systems… .

Google Insights for Search: Regional Interest for “What is Climate”

Okay. That’s enough playing with Google Insights for Search. Now go ahead yourself: http://www.google.com/insights/search – and don’t forget to share your results with me!

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