Saturday, August 28, 2010

Google Trends

For those who don't know, Google Trends is a site that gives statistics about frequency of certain (Google) search terms, and can be used (tentatively) to compare the popularity of things or look for patterns, etc.

First of all, these results are by no means scientific. But there are still some fun and interesting patterns that crop up. Some of them may be entirely coincidental, or easily explained away, but they're still fun to look at. Also, I may have 'gamed' some of the results :p

So here we go (click to enlarge):

Social Networking

The rise of Facebook, the fall of MySpace and the.. appearance of Twitter. But seriously, look at Facebook go!

For the sake of comparing, here's Twitter vs. MySpace with Facebook removed

And you can see that Twitter overtook MySpace mid-February this year.

And finally for social networking, Facebook over the last 30-days

The spikes correspond with Saturdays, as you'd probably expect.

Other Tech Stuff

So the most obvious things are the fall of XP and the rise of Windows 7 and Ubuntu. Also worth noting are the spikes in Ubuntu's line - corresponding to the April/October release schedule.

And if we look at the month view for last month
you get an idea of the general popularity (of searches for) each OS. Note - Ubuntu more popular than Vista.

And for mobiles

Holy crap, that's a bit spike for the release of iOS4! Most likely connected to the antenna problems associated with iPhone 4. Note also the appearance of android and the relatively consistent popularity of Symbian.

And finally in this section, music

Spikes around Christmas, most likely from people looking to fill their new MP3-players/phones. Also, there's the increased popularity of torrents and the fall in mp3 searches, and iTunes being consistently unpopular. [Kidding, btw]

Sex and Lesbians

You're gonna like these

Apparently people developed a sudden interest in lesbian porn at the start of 2006(?). But it's losing popularity by 2009.

Lesbian porn as a cure for depression? Judge for yourself :p
Is it just me, or are there certain similarities between peaks and troughs of those lines..?
Yeah, I think that one speaks for itself... *cough* Also, PMS seems to be strangely synchronized.

Other Random Patterns

Behold, the power of marketing! (meerkating?)
Did Rihanna's "Umbrella" cause the UK floods?
The Recession - is it going away, or have people just stopped caring?
The Killers - in fact, if you do this for almost any artist/band, you find spikes around the releases of singles/albums etc. As you'd probably expect
Swine Flu hysteria

The Summer of Celebrity Deaths
And since Michael Jackson pretty much trumps everyone else
And what ever happened to Su Doku?
And finally, The Election
(Those yellow spikes are clearly Nick Clegg's fault.)


So that's your lot. Some interesting stuff in there, and no doubt you want to have a play yourself now.

Some others you might want to look at yourself:
- Diet/exercise [note the spikes and troughs]
- Heating/Air Conditioning [compare UK/Australia]
- Snow, ice cream, etc. [as above]
- Tea/Coffee [compare UK/USA]

A lot of other things, you get the same sorts of shapes with peaks or troughs at Christmas. Have a play. See for yourself.

And if you find anything fun, let me know in the comments or on Twitter.


[edit] - What do you reckon of this?


Anonymous said...

Is it wrong that throughout the whole blog I could think was 'those lines look like the cracks in time..'

Yes I know - I'm just an idiot who wants to watch films for a living. I'll go back to my hole now.

Very cool blog though :)

Oatzy said...

You mean a Crack in time like that - ? :p

Glad you like it. And you might get to watch films for a living yet..