Sunday, October 12, 2003

Google Zeitgeist  

Trends at Google, Inc. can be seen in lists, maps and charts at their colorful Google Zeitgeist page. The word zeitgeist is a cognative noun from the German words for time and spirit and reflects the general intellectual, cultural, and moral climate of the period.

Mystery must be the general spirit of this time, for (according to Wired, May 2003) Google users collectively use the Google search engine for 3,000 inquiries every second, totaling 260 million searches per day.

The most recent data at Google Zeitgeist is from the week ending October 6th, and is broken into the top ten declining inquiries and top ten gaining queries.

Top 10 Gaining Queries

1. siegfried and roy

2. rush limbaugh

3. premiership players

4. yom kippur

5. coetzee

6. elections ontario

7. paradise hotel

8. rugby world cup

9. halle berry

10. anastasia volochkova

Top 10 Declining Queries

1. robert palmer

2. berlin marathon

3. edward said

4. the bachelor

5. evanescence

6. oktoberfest

7. rosh hashanah

8. george plimpton

9. india

10. trillian

Returning to the Wired magazine article, it is Michael S. Malone's account of 24 hours spent witnessing how it all works. He explains, "To honor good manners, the program filters out obscene requests. Whether out of ignorance, faith, or belief in the safety of numbers, an estimated 52 million people around the world, 42 percent of all search engine users, entrust the site with some of their deepest, most vulnerable thoughts and desires."

Wired Magazine interjected real search phrases in the article. Reading the raw unfiltered requests to Google's search engine is more illuminating than any published list:

Krispy Kreme Donuts, Rhumba,Naturist Boy, How to Pray to the Rosary, Fishnet stocking, Poem procrastination, Pulpotomy, Marijuana for sell, Hottest young boys for free, Attracted to my professor, Horse + penetration, Timid dog, Tarot shops in New Delhi, Mario chick wit da braids, Couple voyeur, Battlefield 1942, Cuckold wife.
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