Thursday, May 11, 2006

The regional demand for ideas

Today, Google launched a beta version of Google Trends. You can put in a keyword and if it is popular enough, then you can see how its popularity changes over time, the impact of certain news events and the regional distribution of searches.

I can see already that we are going to enjoy this one. For instance, type "game theory" and it appears that most activity is coming from Bangalore, India. Note that by activity, it is the share of searches in a location devoted to the keyword. So it is not the absolute number of searches. Here are some other interesting ones:
  • "Download television": Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane are all in the Top 5 (No.1 is Delhi)
  • "Auctions": Sydney, Adelaide and Auckland are all in the top 5
  • "Survivor": Sydney is in the top 5 but all the rest are Canadian
  • "Battlestar Galactica": Perth and Brisbane are in the top 5
  • "Star Wars": Australia is the top region
  • "Melbourne Business School": Melbourne is number 1 but the next three are all in India before we get to Sydney.
  • "AGSM": now this is interesting the two top cities (by a long long way) are both in Italy (Verona and Padova) followed by Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra.
  • "MBA": all of the top searchers are from India (by a long way).

This has got to be a good instrument for some regression somewhere.


Jeremy said...

Hmmm. Seems like the Australian cities may be some sort of artifact. I keep finding international search terms where one or more of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane or Perth (but never Adelaide?) are in the top five, e.g. "Wii", "Michael Peterson", Stephen Donaldson".

SR said...

Searches for CNN and BBC both had a spike at the start of July 2005.
What happend then?
(perhaps a sudden urge for the news?)


Jeremy said...

That would be the 7/7 bombings in London, sr.