Fun with Google Trends

Google Trends is a pretty cool site. According to their website: "you can compare the world’s interest in your favorite topics. Enter up to five topics and see how often they’ve been searched on Google over time". Their data goes back abour 4 years now. You can compare different search terms - so it's all about what you ask. (It's important to remember, search terms are often variable... e.g. 'Coca-Cola' vs. 'Coke' - so wording is important)

I ran a few comparisons in Google Trends that I thought might be interesting:
(Scroll down to see the chart image)
  1. Coke, Pepsi
    I did this just as a baseline. You'd expect they come out pretty similar & in fact, they did.
  2. Batman, Superman, Iron Man, Hulk, Spiderman
    Okay, this just goes to show how big the movie releases impact interest in these characters. You see huge spikes in interest when their films release in theaters.
  3. Obama, McCain
    Perhaps Google Trends will turn out to be a good predictor of election winners? Interest in Obama certainly overwhelmed McCain prior to the election. Of course, they always said the internet is a younger more liberal crowd. It's notable how dramatically interest tapers off after Nov 4th.
  4. iPhone, Blackberry, G1
    I thought I'd compare the three top "next gen" phones out there. iPhone has been around over a year. The Blackberry has been steadily increasing. The G1 is pretty new - will Android be bigger than iPhone? We'll have to wait & see...
  5. Apple, Microsoft, Ubuntu
    Speaking of technology, I thought I'd compare these OS & PC platforms. Microsoft is actually decreasing over the long term. Apple has been slowly increasing & Ubuntu is surprisingly strong riser! I'm not sure what the little humps in the Ubuntu trendline are... my guess would be new distribution releases.
  6. Prop 8, Bailout, Global Warming, Gas Prices, Britney Spears
    And last but not least, what have been major issues facing our country in 2008? I tried a few & threw in Britney Spears for measure. Sadly, Britney Spears is of greater interest to googlers than our national crises on your average day. However, you can see definite spikes when Prop 8, bailouts, & gas prices peaked our interests.
(click to enlarge)

Give Google Trends a try yourself with & feel free to share interesting ones!