Thursday, September 3, 2009

Google Insights Strangely Addictive




Okay it's not crack but it's close.  If you haven't used Google Insights,  I'm going to warn you right now that it's very addicting so make sure you have some free time.  Allegedly, it's supposed to be a tool for businesses to conduct market research as it provides content such as the most common search terms for a subject like basketball, when the most popular searches for basketball occur like what month or year, what regions have the most interest in baskeball along with detailing the top searches and rising searches for basketball.  Now actually reading the description of the program sounds boring, but using it isn't because  Google's tag line for the service "See what the world is searching for" rings true.


Once you start searching one term, it's almost impossible to stop as you keeping searching other ones.  I spent like two hours doing this one night.  Of course, it's a lot more fun if you search dirty terms.  For instance if you search the word "porn" with a timeline from 2004 to the present, you would pretty much expect that a sex-crazed country like the United States would be near the top of the list, but you would be wrong (here's the actual search.  Don't worry there are no pictures here).  It's not even in the top 10.  The top five are Papua New Guinea, Trinidad and Tobago, Ireland, United Kingdom, and Bangladesh.

That tells me a couple of use things.  First,  if you live on an island apparently there isn't much to do besides look at porn.  Second, I really don't want to touch anybody's bed or really anything in anybody's bedroom in those places because they probably weren't just watching for educational reference.  Lastly, the United States needs to step it up because they talk a big game but don't deliver.

If you switched from region to city though, Los Angeles and New York appear at four and six respectively.  All of the other cities on the list also seem to be urban centers with Brentford, UK being the exception although  it's thought that the city appears high on lists for porn searches because of an ISP routing center near the town, not the interests of residents.   So I guess there's no place like a metropolis to search for porn.  It probably adds culture to the experience, but this also means that there might be people living in New York thinking, "I could go to the Empire State building, go to a Knicks game, or go to the Guggenheim Museum, but I'd rather stay in and search for porn."  Can't really fault the guy who chooses the porn over the Knicks though, because lets be honest that is more exciting than a Knicks game.

This also proves that the drain in the US rating must be coming from the Midwest.  Come on Midwest, it's not 1995, stop using a dial up modem.  Nobody wants to wait five hours for their search to finish, and I promise you that a cable modem is better and cheaper than doing meth.

Finally, if you change the time period for searches to within the last 12 months you will notice something very interesting.  There is a spike in searches between the end of December 2008 and beginning of January 2009.  Either a lot of people thought there was going to be some porn shortage in 2009 or they made a new year's resolution to look more porn and are sticking to it.

Dammit, see what I mean about Google Insights.  I just wasted all this time analyzing a graph of porn searches like some nerd for no reason at all.



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