Google Search Trends As Oscar Predictors

In the run up to the Academy Awards on February 27th, Google has developed an application that compares search trends with the probability of certain films to win awards.

In the run up to the Academy Awards on February 27th, Google has developed an application that compares search trends with the probability of certain films to win awards. The multifaceted interface shows trends for each of the awards categories, visualizing not only searches, but popularity based on international region as well. Users can choose to look at the statistics for five nominees at a time on the chart.

What is most interesting, however, is that from this tracking it appears as if trends in Google searches can predict what will most likely be crowned the best picture of the year. According to Google, when the nominees were first announced, four of the ten nominees were in the top ten trending topics that day. Over the last three years, searches for the eventual winner spiked for at least the last month before the awards ceremony. As of today, the most trending film, unsurprisingly, is David Fincher’s The Social Network. It has not only been seeing its searches increased in the last four weeks, but has also been trending strongly in the New York area as well – key factors that it could be the next winner of the big award.

Google warns that these statistics should not be held onto too steadfastly. They state that they simply represent perceived interest through increased search engine traffic.

The Oscars have always renewed or generated interest in films from the past year that either people hadn’t had a chance to see initially or that they may not have heard about at first. With the hullabaloo over so-called non-popular artists winning awards at the Grammy’s we wonder if the reactions would have been the same if the awards show was more of an “event” and viewers Googled the nominees prior to the ceremony. It would appear that although the Oscars are perceived as a large spectacle they do not inspire the same fervor as the Grammy’s do among the general public.

The Google Blog: Search Trends A Clue to 2011 Oscar Winners?

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