Monkeys, Bananas and Google Trends, making sense of data

Google Trends, comparing monkeys and bananas

Google is one tremendous galaxy of tools, services and most importantly data.  Core to Google is of course its search engine.  While most people seek to information out there and Google’s search engine ranks and optimises the result to match the search, there is a wealth of other information that Google collects from its search engine usage and that is how many people search a particular information.  Google, in its infinite wisdom (!) has made this information available to all who seeketh.   This is available from the online tool called Google Trend, and it reveals a fascinating story for those who care to seek.

Here is an example of a Google Trend for the searches involving the recent block buster movie Chennai Express  and the fictional character Spider-man  hero of a series of recent Hollywood blockbusters.

Google trends, blockbusters India

 
We can see the effect of the release of these blockbusters on the Indian digital population. The releases of the main Hollywood movies on Spider-man in 2004, 2007 and 2012 created peaks in the search for spider-man on the Google search engine. However, this is dwarfed by the search of the Bollywood blockbuster Chennai Express.

Google Trends, blockbusters Worldwide

The story is quite different when we compare the total number of searches for the above 2 queries in the context of the entire planet.  The Hollywood blockbusters having a much greater impact on the quest for spider-man information than Chennai Express.  Understandably so.

Using Google Trends as a tool for data anaylsis

So how can one use this data to make quantitative analysis of the society in which we live?  You can find out by reading the next post in this series,

Comparing digital populations using Google Trends

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