Sunday, May 21, 2006

Google Trends

Google is pretty damn cool. One of the newer tools to emerge from Google Labs is Google Trends, an application that (among other things) charts how often a given search term is entered over time. For example, when one enters "Ovechkin" as the search term, Trends produces the following chart (click to enlarge):

"Ovechkin" peaked as a search term at Point C - when Alex scored "The Goal" against Phoenix. The other high-point of this graph is at Point D, when Alex's fifth goal of the Olympics beat Canada.

Trends also lets you compare search terms' popularity. For example, enter "Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby" and you'll get this:

It's worth noting that searching "Alexander Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby" lowers Alex's search ratings, but I figure that most people searching for Alex will simply enter "Ovechkin" while the commonality of the name "Crosby" would require the Sidney-searcher to be a little more specific. Anyway, as you can tell, the hype surrounding Sid the Kid (peaking in mid-July, 2005, when the Pens "won" the draft lottery) had him way out in front of Alex... until "The Goal". Interestingly, news references (the lower graph) to Alex outpaced articles referencing Sid almost from the outset of the season. I guess the mainstream hockey media wasn't as biased as some might think.

What's the point? There is none. Other than that Google Trends is cool. And that I wish the Caps were in the playoffs.

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