Posted: Monday, Oct. 8, 2018
Hurricane Florence has maintained a massive presence in the media, having made landfall on Sept. 14, and not weakening to a tropical depression until the 16th. At the same time, psychologist and professor Christine Blasey Ford came forward regarding sexual assault allegations she made towards Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
According to an analysis of Google Trends search data, Hurricane Florence maintained a top search presence, having reached peak popularity and was searched for extensively within the regions it was impacting.
The storm had begun to impact power lines and caused roadways to become blocked leaving many residents stranded. Many turned to the news and social media to find out when the storm would subside to get an idea of when help would be on the way. Florence ultimately claimed the lives of 42 individuals, that number still rising.
As the storm began to pass, however, Blasey Ford, a professor from Palo Alto, came forward as the author of a letter detailing a sexual assault by Kavanaugh. The new sexual assault allegations quickly became the center of attention, and put the proceedings of Kavanaugh’s nomination on hold.
Despite receiving massive media attention at the start of the work week, Hurricane Florence massively overshadowed Blasey Ford’s accusations, nearly double the amount of search. However, certain states on the West Coast, such as California and Nevada, had a higher search interest for Ford than Florence. -- Brendan Miranda
Despite an influx of new fast food restaurants that promise flavor and healthy choices, McDonald’s still reigns as the most beloved fast food restaurant in the United States. According to an analysis of Google search, this past year, McDonald’s (blue) was the most searched fast foods in the United States, followed by Subway (red) and Panera (purple), with Chick-fil-A (yellow) and In-n-Out trailing far behind.
There are only three states where other restaurant searches were more popular than McDonald’s. Subway is most popular in New York and South Dakota where the searches for it slightly surpass those for McDonald’s. Panera outperforms McDonald’s only in Virginia.
From this graph one can conclude that the first place people search for when looking for a place to eat is McDonald’s. It is safe to say that Americans still love the old golden arches. -- Teodora Marinescu
With Apple’s release of the new iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max over the weekend, it’s not a surprise to see Americans Google searching it like crazy. As usual, Apple fanatics are dying to get their hands on it. A simple search on Google will bring up articles reviewing the new phones, direct sites for purchase as well as videos of lucky customers unboxing the new phones. The chart below displays trends in YouTube searches for the iPhone XS and XS Max.
YouTube searches reached their peak last week on September 12th for the iPhone XS and the 14th for the XS Max. Although these are the exact same phones in different sizes, we can see that there is more interest in the smaller version (iPhone XS) than the XS Max. Searches for the two phones have followed almost identical trends and have seemed to go down in interest as the days from the release get further away.
Do you think these phones will live up to their anticipation? So far, as search trends are decreasing, it doesn’t look too promising. -- Claire Redden
Throughout 2018, the iPhone was on the public’s mind as to what Apple has in store for them. Many were curious and finding out ways how this iPhone was different compared to previous models.
However, when it came to searching up the new iPhone on Google Trends it completely dominated Nike. Throughout 2018, the iPhone stayed as a popular search due to rumors of it presenting three brand new iPhones. Once it got in the middle of September, the iPhone became the dictator by releasing the new iPhones: iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR. -- Rabia Baig
We’ve all played this game a few times in our lives. Usually, it’s all in good fun and while our answers shouldn’t impact the relationships we have, it can sometimes feel that way. Heated debates and long winded rants make it seem like there is no resolution. We all individually have made up our minds, but which one does the public pay the most attention to? An online poll is a simple solution, but the results might not get us a consistent opinion of the public. Thanks to the internet (and Google Trends), we can take a closer look at these hot topics.
Bill Gates or Steve Jobs?
Aside from some obvious spikes from Steve Jobs (Red), the chart is somewhat close in frequency of searches. Even with Steve Jobs’s passing in October 5, 2011, his name still peaks above Bill Gates. Clearly, his name wouldn’t be completely erased from our memories since then, however, I still wanted to know what could have brought up this topic of discussion. With that noted, there are moments in these trends that catch interest.
The first one to look at is the biggest spike in the middle. Taking a closer look at the date, it appears this happened sometime between October 4th through October 10th in 2015. After doing some digging online, I learned that this was near the same time the movie, Steve Jobs, released in theaters. Naturally, this would be a good time for press tours and inviting journalists to write about the movie. A podcast from NPR talks about the film and airs an interview they did with Steve Jobs back in 2011.
While it doesn’t appear that Bill Gates stirred up as much conversation in comparison, there is one moment in the week of August 17 in 2014 where his name came up a little more. Taking a closer look at the news headlines online, I found one from The Telegraph that talks about Bill Gates taking on The Ice Bucket Challenge. The charity event in August that swept the nation for a hot minute. We all got to see our favorite celebrites and friends everywhere pouring icy water down their backs to raise money for ALS. All amusement aside, it contributed to a greater cause and brought attention to an important topic. -- Michelle Campos
The Social Networking Site (SNS), Facebook, launched in 2004 and was designed by Mark Zuckerberg. Other popular SNSs such as Twitter and Instagram are on the rise, but Facebook took the lead in Google searches. According to an analysis of Google search on Google Trends, Facebook has been the most searched SNS in every U.S. state this past year.
Facebook is the oldest SNS because Twitter and Instagram were launched years later and provide different variations of posting content. Every social media platform is different, for example, Twitter is used for sharing short quick tweets and Instagram is used to post images with clever captions. However, Facebook offers some features that its competitors do not such as games, fan pages, and a separate Facebook messenger application.
From the graph, the conclusion can be drawn that Facebook is the SNS that dominates the U.S. There is a possibility that in the future Twitter and Instagram could overrule Facebook since the graph does display a steady decline, but for now, Facebook will keep its position as the leading SNS.
The Syrian Civil War has been ongoing since 2011, but Syrians are using social media to help save numerous lives. According to an analysis of Google search on Google Trends, despite the large spike from the term ‘civil war’ (red) on August 30th, the term ‘social media’ (blue) still trumps the searches on September 17th, 19th, and 22nd.
The reason for this trend is from the creation of a private application called Sentry, which sends users a Facebook or Telegram message that notifies them with the locations of government warplanes. From the graph, the conclusion can be drawn that Syrian searches for protection are trending more than information about the current state of the Syrian Civil War. -- Christina Welky
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