I’ve been playing around with Google Trends, a-la-Micropersuasion. Some of it I do get, and some of it I don’t. But one thing I have discovered: people in the UK seem to be looking for Apple more than Microsoft, at the tail-end of a trend that seems pretty constant over the past three years.
My Google Trend-o-mania started today when someone was watching the Cadburys Gorilla ad. Seems everyone loves it. They don’t know why, they just do (perhaps that’s the point?). But could people also start loving Phil Collins again, given its prominence in the ad, I wondered? According to Google Trends, yes. There’s a definite upward slope for both since the ad launched. Good news for Phil Collins fans, not so great for music lovers.
How about looking within the UK at coverage of football vs rugby. Is rugby up? Yes – and so is football, but rugby more so. However it seems that, while people are looking for rugby news more (the top chart), the amount of news picked up by Google News is fairly constant (bottom chart).
But notice a strange thing: if you click the links given, on the Gordon Brown/Tony Blair trends, to the right it says ‘No news articles were found.’ What-what-what-what-what? I don’t understand. I can understand a US-centricity to results but that’s riddliculous. Then again, look at the news articles listed to the right of the Diana search. One of them is CheshireOnline. CheshireOnline? I grew up in Cheshire and I can tell you, it’s great for cats and cheese but is not a particular centre of Diana-worship.
Two more searches: how, comparatively, are Microsoft and Apple doing? In all regions, Apple is definitely closing the gap. Moldova.org is singled out as a particular authority on this issue. I know, let’s forget Moldova. Let’s just look at the UK – and it would seem that, within the UK, Apple really has just overtaken Microsoft in search volume. In other words, people are looking for Apple more than they are Microsoft. I guess you could point at the iPhone for this but I would say this merely continues a trend you can see developing over the past three years.
So what does this tell us?
- Google Trends is great for tracing the effects of campaigns, even side-effects. I should delve more deeply into this using other resources such as Technorati and BlogPulse but Steve Rubel shows you how to do it, using Windows Live as an example.
- I don’t quite get its news associations. I don’t get how the Blair/Brown query returns no articles, while for others, publications such as the Bradenton Herald, Hamilton-Wenham Chronicle, Malta Independent, Tiffin Advertiser Tribune and Albuquerque Tribune are singled out as UK-leading authorities.
- I could have stumbled – yes, stumbled – across something newsworthy. A scoop, maybe. And this is that it seems people in the UK are more interested in Apple now, than in Microsoft, for possibly the first time ever. And as a sidenote, within the UK, people in Cambridge are more keen on Apple than in London. It would be interesting to see if this flips as a consequence of the Microsoft fine.
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