Google has released a report listing (and analyzing) the 10 most popular search terms in 2009, tracked by quarter. The report offers very visual insight into what was on Americans’ minds throughout the year – from world news (swine flu!), to TV programming (Susan Boyle) and pop culture (Meghan Fox and Bella Swan).
This graph captures the fastest rising query for each quarter of 2009, visualized over the entire year. To find the fastest rising query for each quarter, we looked at the most popular searches conducted every three months and ranked them based on how much their popularity increased compared to the previous quarter. Note how some queries maintain a moderate level of search volume over an extended period of time, whereas others peak sharply and suddenly.
A subsequent listing of rising and falling queries offers insight into the ebbs and flows of particular trends, people or notions within particular Google categories – from News, to Images to Mobile – and a notion of what Americans wanted to see, read about in depth or glimpse at from their smart phones. The full report ultimately recaps the major political news, events and pop cultural phenomena that impacted American psyches during the year.
It goes without saying that Google’s analytics represent a rich resource and insight into what’s on the collective psyche. It would be interesting to see how these queries were paralleled with the economy, employment data, or other indicators of economic performance. Did Susan Boyle and Bella Swan queries increase or decrease during periods of lower employment and productivity? Is there any correlation between the type, or category of popular search terms and economic performance? If there’s anything to this notion – beyond the obvious, common logic – it might help brands and websites better tailor their message and content to what individuals truly seek out during these peaks and valleys.
[via Holy Kaw! Alltop]