Re: An interesting find...

From: BillK (
Date: Sat Aug 26 2006 - 15:03:36 MDT

On 8/26/06, Alton Sartor wrote:
> I'm normally quite happy to sit back and watch, but I
> ran across this the other day and thought that people
> might be interested in taking a look.
> By searching for words like "singularity", one can get
> a pretty good idea of the general level of public
> interest in this and related topics.

Well, no you can't, actually.

Firstly, it only shows Google searches and there are hundreds of other
search engines. Google is the biggest, but Yahoo is about half the
volume of Google and MSN is about a quarter.

Secondly, Google Trends do not show actual numbers. (Because Google
can sell actual numbers to marketing companies). It will draw a graph
showing searches for 'singularity' over the past two years, but you
don't know whether ten people or ten thousand were searching month by

The most popular search word is 'sex'. Just about every other search
word trend graph flatlines when compared to 'sex'.

So, yes it does show whether there is a rising or falling trend in
searches for a particular word, but there is no scale to show the
significance level.

There is a hack you can do to give a rough estimate of significance,
but it really is a rough estimate.



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