Thursday, March 1, 2007

Zeitgeist: what people search for on the Net

I admit it. I’m a fan of Google™ . I discovered this search engine in its infancy and shortly thereafter, began to turn to it first. One reason Google stays on top is the focus on developing products that help users and customers. No one comes close, in my opinion.

I discovered this cool page, Zeitgeist: Search patterns, trends, and surprises. Part of the company’s press center, this page lists gaining search queries for the previous week. For the week ending Feb. 24, it came as no surprise to me that our conflicted celeb Britney Spears was a top search term, as were Lunar New Year and Tom Brady. Ash Wednesday was up there too, making the Internet community lean rather towards faith, what with Lent also in the mix. It’s helpful to anyone who maintains a site to know what surfers are looking for.

American Idol, not surprisingly was up there too, ranked in fifth place. It’s one of the few shows on a regular network I enjoy watching. I like it because it’s talent- based, and I love music. I’m always amazed. You can sing, people will love you. It’s a lot like poetry, where you sing with words.

I’m sitting in the office waiting on a source to call me for a newspaper story due Monday. Polished off a column this afternoon and set up questions for another. As usual, I ended up with more deadlines than expected over the next few days. No freelancer will complain about that. So I tuned into American Idol, just in time to see them cull out the singers who were voted off.

There was an amazing moment when a female contestant—I think it was Alaina Alexander, but I have problems with names (sorry)—was voted off. She tried to sing the Dixie Chicks song, ‘I’m not ready to make nice.’ Her voice absolutely left her. Then the other girls slipped onto the stage to help her sing it. Sundance (I know him; he’s distinctive) was even teary. Then the girls hugged her.

It was a stellar example of American sisterhood. It was a lovely moment for this viewer.

I figure Google is like American Idol. You do something better than everyone else you win.

Information about Google Zeitgeist is, of course, courtesy of Google, based on information from the Press Center.

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