Thursday, August 2, 2007

The Splendor Which Is Google Trends

I've recently discovered the most fun toy ever. I've always enjoyed using search engines to gauge the relative idiocy of my fellow humans, but Google Trends makes the whole process that much simpler. Instead of popping some phrase or word into a search engine and seeing how many hits come up, you can use Google Trends to compare how often people did searches for various things.

To start out, I decided to put John Lennon to the test and compared the Beatles vs Jesus Christ. Turns out, the boys from Liverpool kick the carpenter's ass. However, the Beatles really aren't all that popular. It turns out that people just don't try to find Jesus with Google all that much. The Beatles vs U2 has U2 easily dominating the playing field for the past three years. But, U2 isn't at the top of the game, I'm afraid. U2 vs Beyonce has had some reversals over the years, but currently it looks like Beyonce is reigning supreme.

Google Trends also makes it easy to follow raging cultural debates. Long has man wrestled with the choice between Beyonce and Fergie. Bootylicious or Fergalicious? Sultry sweetness or skanky sex? Beyonce still comes out on top, but it's a close race. Fergie could overtake her at any moment.

And what about famous feuds? For instance, The Killers and Green Day both desperately want to be U2 (when really, as the results above should show, anyone with sense would want to be Beyonce). Killers frontman Brandon Flowers has been rather outspoken in his disgust for the anti-Americanism of Green Day. Has his patriotism rewarded him? Alas, no. The Killers vs Green Day ends with Green Day noticeably ahead, though the Killers did outdo them briefly in September and October 2006. However, in Brandon Flowers vs Billie Joe Armstrong we find that Flowers has remained ahead of Armstrong pretty consistently since February of this year.

I'm still searching for a band or musician who tops Beyonce. High School Musical has managed to, but there's an unfair advantage there as this is a movie and not an actual band. She even beats Elvis and Iraq (though barely). Technically, she's beat by Britney Spears, but again I don't think this one counts. Chances are good searches for Britney are more for scary, scary stories than interest in music. Linkin Park briefly eclipsed her in May of this year and now they're neck and neck, much like her and Fergie.

And though his 'Net trendiness might not be on par with the big name bands (though as a solo performer, he beats the lead singers of the above bands), I'll have you know that Rufus Wainwright completely pwns Cheez Whiz.

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