If you haven’t checked out the new Google Trends yet, you should. Although, I’m still hung up on what exactly is the actual value of such a tool – it is pretty addictive and very interesting. From the website:
About Google Trends
With Google Trends, you can compare the world's interest in your favorite topics. Enter up to five topics and see how often they've been searched on Google over time. Google Trends also shows how frequently your topics have appeared in Google News stories, and in which geographic regions people have searched for them most.
For more detailed information click here.
Anyways, for my column “Long/Short Society” I have begun using this as a piece of research for some of the posts I have planned. Unfortunately for this site, I got carried away and spent hours just looking up stuff, so the column has been put on hold for a little. Fortunately for you, some of the stuff ranges from thought-provoking to hilarious to absolutely absurd, and I figured I would share them with you.
To stay with the general theme of the site, we will begin with some more “appropriate” pictures. I have held back on too much commenting and theorizing for now because I am saving that for the actual column. Even so, pictures sometimes speak louder than words:
Borrow vs. Lend
This was one of my favorites. In a attempt to find some sort of divergence between borrowing and lending, in hopes of illustrating the dislocation going on in the consumer credit markets (people need money but can’t find any), I was delightfully satisfied. I’m not saying that this means anything but worth further investigation.
Notice how periods of correlation shoot off to mini periods of textbook divergence. Also, the overall “spread” continues to widen over the time period, illustrating my “dislocation” hypothesis.
Buy vs. Rent
In search of another negative correlation related to the housing slump. This graph did not provide me with much. Since both have many other applications besides housing there are many confounding variables.
Some interesting points:
– Pretty tight correlation, but seasonal divergence. I can understand the spikes in “Buy” but what about the “Rent” dips.
-The uptrend in “Buy” in news stories over the past three years
–The downtrend in “Buy” searches from late 2005.
–The constant spread between the two searches
Credit vs. Savings
Things I noticed…
– The theme of a “top” around mid – late 2005 continues.
– The spikes in April and October in savings – after nearly 20 minutes of intense reflection – duh “Daylight Savings Time”
– The lack of any discernible relationship – except for a divergence in late 2005 and what seems to be a convergence developing into 2007.
– The media’s constant coverage of “credit” over “savings”
– The areas where credit was trending up vs. where savings is trending up are very interesting. Think about the relative levels of housing stability.
Stocks vs. Bonds
– Down months for the stock markets exhibit bond spikes in both searches and news coverage
– Both have exhibited a significant downtrend in searches since early 2006.
– The search trends correspond with equity market environments stocks leading bonds during upswings, and vice versa.
– The relatively stable news coverage devoted to “stocks”
Ritz vs. Holiday Inn
One of my favorites – I tried to see if there have bee any shifts in consumers preferences between a luxury good and a normal good.
– One can not help but notice what went on at the end of 2006 – very interesting, although this seems to be cyclical for the most part.
– The recent spikes in news coverage of the Ritz.
– Another downtrend beginning around mid to late 2005.
– The relative stability of the Ritz searches compared to the spiky and downtrending Holiday Inn.
Luxury vs. Discount
This one has too many scale issues to look at in one graph but there are a few interesting things:
– The switch in dominance of media coverage from discount to luxury….
– And, the accompanying downtrend in discount searches…
– Finally, combined with the uptrend in “borrow” as seen above.
The Five W’s
This is the best one I have done. I almost put it on the same page as an artistic masterpiece because of its beauty underlying what it conveys.
– People are much more concerned in searching for what something is – than why something is. The other three are virtually indistinguishable. To me this indicates an element of cluelessness and a curiosity for the practical over the theoretical.
– The Five W’s the standard in Media are broken down almost as if layers – very artistic in nature. It is perfect except that “When” swaps with “What”. You can’t put six in or else I would have included “How”
– The media doesn’t mention “Why” but apathy reins and the people don’t search for it either.
The Three Major Sports
Very cool chart if you are a sports fan like myself
– The higher highs for football show how much that sport is growing. Or does it show how fantasy football is growing as the spikes come right around draft time?
– The spike in baseball in April and then downtrend through the summer to the World Series. Much like my attention span for the sport.
– Basketball is explained entirely by the NCAA with spikes coming at the beginning of the season and during March.
– Maybe more appropriate searches would be NBA, NFL, MLB.
Fact vs. Fiction
– The huge spike in “Fact” around Election 2004 and the lack thereof in 2006.
– The divergences between the two during the holiday times and also during the summer. (Kids out of school?)
– The steady uptrend of “Fact” in media coverage.
Biggie vs. Tupac
The rivalry is still alive and well although Pac is starting to lose some steam. Maybe people finally are realizing that he is in fact dead.
Apparently the summer and holidays are big times in the escort business. Even more interesting is that business has not been so great lately.
Where do all these escort searches come from?
Of course Vegas and AC. But we also have some lonely (or horny) politicians (DC & Maryland), wall streeters (New York & Chicago), and in my estimate Soldiers (GA, SC, HI).
Bitches vs. Hoes
Bitches up, hoes down…just as I suspected. Some may not get this reference.
Marijuana vs. Cocaine
Now I know why everything spiked in late 2005….it is all coming together.
God vs. Goldman
Ladies, contrary to what the guy at Marquee tells you, he is not even in the same league.
– Notice the spike up in Goldman and spike down in God around bonus time – in both searches and news.
-For that matter, notice the dips around Christmas time for God during all three years…interesting.
– Notice how searches for “God” top out right around the same time as “Cocaine”.
That is it for now. I have many more great ones and will continue to post them. Figured I’d share these for now. Hope you enjoy