Monday, May 15, 2006

yet another google-based timesuck

Google Trends allows you to enter search terms and compare the frequency with which they have been entered into Google by the population over time. You can select an option to restrict the graphs to only searches within the United States. (The letters and flags in the graph refer to news stories based on the term in the sidebar that add little information and, annoyingly, cannot be turned off.)



In the US, searches including "football" exceed those including "porn" for most of the pro and college regular season, while those for "basketball" only exceed "porn" during March Madness, and those in "baseball" never exceed "porn."



I will leave it as an exercise for the reader to figure out the timing of the annual spikes in searches for these terms. Note that the second annual peak for "flowers" is higher than the first.* Consider also what the difference in the duration of spikes suggests about the advance thought given to the different things.

* Comparison of searches for "flowers" and "lingerie" show a spike for "lingerie" that coincides with the first peak for "flowers" and not the second, which I think is probably a good thing for society.

11 comments:

Rhymes With Scrabble said...

It also looks like that first flower spike barely got a lingerie blip in 2005, and it still hadn't bounced back to 2004 levels this year. This is exacerbated by restraining the graph to US searches only, so if people are switching to candy or something, they're mainly doing it here. Nation of puritans, I tell you.

carly said...

Click here and click on the 'cities' tab at the bottom.

Your doing, perhaps, Jeremy?

jeremy said...

Carly: That is absolutely hilarious. It could well be my doing.

A+ said...

RWS, there may be hope. I would bet that porn-seeking people don't necessarily use the search term "porn," but instead, use words like "free thumbnails" or "free streaming video." Of course, this is an empirical question. But I bet if you compiled all of those terms together, it'd make quite a spike.

Er, I mean, so I've been told.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this:

IN summer 04 and 05, people stopped typing Marxism into google--my personal favorite.

Very interesting timesuck, I am sure it will appear in a sociology article in the next few years as anecdotal evidence for something increasing or declining.

Anonymous said...

Carly and Jeremy: Compare 'snakes on a plane' with Freese. Now THAT'S hilarious!

Anonymous said...

anon 2:07:

Looks like the volume for "Marxism" just follows the academic calendar, with drops for both summer and winter breaks. The same pattern holds for marx, max weber, durkheim, sociology, etc.

Anonymous said...

I don't think JF had anything to do with that Cambridge spike: Try entering 'Jeremy Freese' by itself. Nada.

But there are kindred spirits here, Dude. Keep those peepers open!

jeremy said...

I resent the insinuation that I google my own name more than I google "Snakes on a Plane."

Anonymous said...

Insinuation? Sinuous, maybe.

marc said...

I see that only turkey exceeds porn out of the second four terms. Does that place fireworks, costumes, and flowers right along with baseball?