Project meeting

Life in a day: How Google searches reflect the stories we crave

As we discussed recently, Google searches can form something of a year-in-review when it comes to things that have grabbed our attention or got us talking.

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But it’s not just over a 12 month period that we can gauge search trends and how they reflect what’s happening in the world at that exact moment in time.

Throughout the day we find ourselves turning to the world’s biggest search engine to find out more about stories we are interested in, rather than waiting for more traditional news sources like the TV or national papers.

So it’s no surprise that Google will regularly reflect what we are digesting from the day’s news. But not always in the way you might think.

And no more so was this evident than this week when a number of very different stories were breaking – but only one was dominating our search habits.

Google trends

On a day when three masked gunmen shot dead 12 people on a raid on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, you’d think this would be the story that was “trending” on Google more than any other as the world held its breath waiting for the latest news from Paris.

But no.

The most searched term on that very same day was, in fact, Celebrity Big Brother, with almost double the amount of searches.

And, of course, there was the self-proclaimed motor mouth and tabloid favourite  Katie Hopkins, who also made it into the top three on a news day that was far from slow.

So once again this is a classic example of how Google will often provide us with more questions than answers.

But it also illustrates what a great barometer it can be for judging just what it is that people are really interested in.