Google Trends: what the world is searching for

Earlier in May this year Google quietly lunched a new addition to their collection of online tools, which already include a word processor and a browsable maps of Mars, called “Google Trends“. “See what the world is searching for” they have it for it’s punch line so that’s exactly what I did. And awe the results!

So let’s get started with the obvious so they all get out of our enquiring minds before getting down to the real thing:

Keyword: sex
Search Trend: Sex
In terms of quantity, it remained the same since 2004, so we looking for “sex” on google as much as we were back then. The interesting part is the geographical regions:

And here is my first surprise. The USA is not the top region in the world quering for “sex”. Not even the second. Heck, it doesn’t even show up in the top 10! No sir, top regions are, in fact, Pakistan, Egypt, Viet Nam and Iran. It could be a statistical blip, but why would these regions be looking for “sex” more than anywhere else in the world? Could it be the fact that sex, like many other “liberal” subjects, is tabooed in these places? If so, does it mean the oh so great Internet is really opening the window and borders of the world, like the media pitches it to be?

Keyword: terrorism

Search Trend: Terrorism

Now here’s an interesting trend: The United States is number 6 and United Kingdom number 8. Canada and Sweden barely make it to the top 10. Is the western world really not that bothered about terrorism? Could it actually be affecting more the Muslim world than it is the Western world as we tend to believe? Pakistan, again, makes it to number one with more than double the searches as region number two, the Philippines. Is Pakistan so worried about terrorism? Or so misinformed about it at home that it’s citizens look for answers on the Internet?

Keyword: education

Search Trend: Education

And here it is, Pakistan leading the race with more than double the queries for “education” as the second region, India. Philippines follows with South Africa a close fourth.
Could it be another statistical blip? Why would Pakistanis and Indians search for “education” more than all the other top 10 regions combined? Are we seeing a trend that we search for what we do not have at home? Or on the other hand is it for things we care about? Does this mean the Pakistani/Indian region is showing an overwhelming craving for education?

Keyword: money

Search Trend: Money

It is official, the United Kingdom leads the world when it comes to searching for money. India appears fifth, the only Asian country to be in the top 10. And I thought they were all spirituality and all… New Zealand takes second place with the United States coming right on queue in third place followed by Australia and Canada. Is Western society really so much more concerned about money than the rest of the world?

Keyword: weapons

Search Trend: Weapons

The usual suspects: United States, New Zealand and Australia are in the top 4, which is lead by South Africa. Interesting seeing Finland and Sweden in the top 10, so much for the Scandinavian peace…
Interestingly, the trend for “bombs” closely mirrors that of “weapons”…

Keyword: religion

Search Trend: Religion

A nice keyword with fresh new countries showing up. Heavily dominated by Latin-American countries, “religion” seems to fit their culture and life-style, possibly why it is reflected in what people search for in that region. Colombia, Chile, Philippines, Mexico and Peru lead the table with the United States and Canada making a shy appearance. They obviously care more about religion than the rest of us…

Keyword: poker

Search Trend: Poker

With the United States ban on Internet Gambling (poker included) most online poker sites have closed or are in process of closing their US operations. Interestingly, it is Europe who leads the queries for “poker” on google, with Sweden, Denmark and Norway making the top 3 table. Not quite surprising, if you are a regular online poker player.

To finish this off I will leave here some interesting stats on how keywords compare against each other, that is, how much more people look for “sex” than for “religion”…

Search Trend: Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism

christianity islam judaism hinduism

Search Trend: Sex, Religion

sex religion

Search Trend: Money, Religion

money religion

Search Trend: Education, Money, Sex, Religion, Terrorism

education money sex religion terrorism