2005 Zeitgeist

The Google 2005 year-end Zeitgeist is out. My favorite is the graph for Rosa Parks. Interest in her peaks around her death and funeral, but you can also see the interest in Rosa Parks early in the year. Why? Probably because February is Black History Month. Check it out:

Rosa Parks

27 Responses to 2005 Zeitgeist (Leave a comment)

  1. Would be interesting to see similar graphs for misspellings of popular searches to see trends among common typing errors.

  2. The Zeitgeist is quite entertaining but in 2005 mostly useless–unlike del.icio.us and wink et al which provide this kind of data ongoing, realtime for a more sophisticated audience/market.

    That criticism out of the way, the graphs are very nice. Some of the alt tags on the graphs need changing.

  3. Matt – has anybody you know tried to mashup zeitgeist (or other query data) with stock prices?

  4. I’m not black, but I am from detroit. It’s funny how all this interest in her occurred near her death and in black history month, but she’s practically non existent throughout the rest of the year.

    If people want to celebrate a person, do it while they’re alive.

    I don’t want a funeral, I’d rather have people to drink with on the weekend instead.

  5. Aaron Pratt

    That reminds me of The Global Consciousness Project and predictive markets…

  6. now that would be a pretty sweet tool for the general public to play with, will google every open that up for the general public to do key word queries for an entire 12 months? i could really have fun with this. :)

  7. Wow, 2005 Zeitgeist is amazing…. I like the Stars Wars graphs..
    Master Yoda Rules !!!

  8. Wow, 2005 Zeitgeist is amazing….

    I like the Stars Wars graphs.. Master Yoda Rules !!!

    Happy Holidays and Merry Xmas to all…

    Master Matt, hope next year you bring us with more wisdom and knowledge to all mortals !!!!

  9. Very cool, although somebody should look into changing the alt tags on the first two graphs on this page: http://www.google.com/press/zeitgeist2005/worldaffairs.html – they are still referring to Harry Potter and Star Wars… Not what they should be saying.

  10. would be cool to provide trending query data to the general public throughout the year…I think if someone releases that in a manner that
    -respects privacy
    -still provides a cool overall glimpse
    -allows searchers to switch around what information they want to access and over what timeframe

    is going to get enough free marketing out of it to get about a 5% bump in overall marketshare. it’s free easy press.

  11. >>>would be cool to provide trending query data

    This was the gist of my earlier post. Too much trending query data is easily abused by MFA spammers but a mere 10 is much too stingy.

    Snap.com was providing such data and may again in the future.

    This is very interesting:

    http://hot.aol.com/hot/hot

  12. Does anyone else find the examples of world news cited to be in somewhat poor taste, or is it just me?

    I do realize that our world news works on the concept of negativity and therefore peaks and interest and spikes in traffic will occur when bad things happen, but plotting out the traffic at the time of Rosa Parks’ death and the second spike for her funeral? That’s a little over the top.

    Why not track at least one or two positive things? Say, for example, Air France. You could show how, when the plane crashed at Pearson International Airport, how everyone was saved.

  13. Harith

    Good morning Matt

    WOW… New Google Guidlines for Webmasters

    Did you write all that, Matt? :-)

    Here is a good one:

    ” You should never have to link to an SEO”

    And this one is good too:

    “Ask your SEO firm if it reports every spam abuse that it finds to Google using our spam complaint form at http://www.google.com/contact/spamreport.html. Ethical SEO firms report deceptive sites that violate Google’s spam guidelines.”

    Well done, Inigo & Co :-)

  14. Does anyone else find the examples of world news cited to be in somewhat poor taste, or is it just me?

    Extremely good point also raised by many others out here.

    Google PR department, are you paying attention?

  15. Stephen

    Hi Matt

    On the test DC – there seems to be the return of lots of missing homepages – and pages linked from the homepages – however deep pages do not seem to have been added yet – despite the fact that they appear to have been crawled (by Mozilla Googlebot)…

    Is the test dc still in flux, development etc.

    Canonicals etc look like they are in a lot better shape – it is just that the sites that have been effected dont seem to have regained there power?(PR ? power)

    Would love a blog entry on the test dc – or perhaps you could ask GG to come out of retirement and post on the thread at wmw ;) ?

  16. Has anybody ever done any comparisons correlations between Google Zeitgeist and Yahoo Buzz?

  17. >>I’m not black, but I am from detroit.

    What in the world is that supposed to mean?!

    >>It’s funny how all this interest in her occurred near her death and in
    >>black history month, but she’s practically non existent throughout the
    >>rest of the year.
    You can blame that on the media and no one else.

    Anyway…
    I enjoyed this year-end Zeitgeist, and I also enjoy the monthly updates.

    >>would be cool to provide trending query data to the general public throughout the year

    They do have weekly updates:
    http://www.google.com/press/zeitgeist/archive2005.html

    but I agree, it would be nice to be able to enter 2 or more keywords and a timespan, and for a nice graph.

  18. Sorry forgot to review before posting:^^^ I meant to say:
    It would be nice to be able to enter 2 or more keywords and a timespan, for a nice graph.

  19. Hey Matt,
    http://www.txt2nite.com/ has ranked at the top of google for one of my keywords for the longest time, but the site is total hidden text…(near the bottom)

    Submitted it a long long time ago, nothing done. If i can remember the URL of where to submit it, I’ll try it again.

    Been seeing alot of these lately, it’s looking like that with each update google makes, more and more black hat techniques start working and popping up.

  20. “Does anyone else find the examples of world news cited to be in somewhat poor taste, or is it just me?”

    Why is that poor taste? ZeitGeist shows that a famous and respected person in history is of the interest of many people with peaks when things happen that reach the news. Seems prety normal to me.

    Using it as an example should not be considered bad taste.

  21. Ah yes Mr. Peter but you are Dutch! There are different levels of sensitivity in different cultures correct? Some have been repressed for so long that they take offense to the smallest of things, college students have been fed liberal bias for so long that they lash out at the smallest of things and terrorists completely lack a sense of humor and are demon spawn.

  22. [quote]…examples of world news cited to be in somewhat poor taste…[/quote]

    It appears to me that these examples were chosen by the Zeitgeist Team because they showed the most dramatic or revealing spikes/patterns. If the searching public has bad taste (I don’t necessarily think so) that would be an important example in this series.

    Perhaps your own image in a mirror upsets you too.

  23. That may be true, Andi, and we do focus a lot on the negative when it comes to news, which would create spikes and patterns.

    But it can’t all be negative. I cited the Air France search idea. I’m sure there had to be a huge percentage spike when the crash occurred.

    What about the Super Bowl? (Or even Terrell Owens, since there are occasional positive stories out there for him.)

    Hell, why not the word “Jagger”?

    I’m not a left-wing thinker either. I’m actually one of the more conservative thinkers out there.

    But there’s an underlying theme here that bothers me: “We’re Google, and we’ll provide the results you want for the news you want, from the death of Rosa Parks and full coverage of her funeral to pictures of Katrina to dead bodies lying in a London street from a terrorist attack.”

    In other words, the behaviour itself may be normal. I have no reason to doubt as such. But of the millions of stories out there and the spikes created by each, there could have been a better selection process, that’s all. This was an error in judgement, and there have been examples cited of things that could have been used as search terms that could just as easily have created dramatic spikes.

  24. Damn interesting graphs, Google should make something similar to overture key search intensity that displays the numbers of keywords searched.

  25. haven’t you ever watched the news? How many positive stories do you find on there?

    Most newscasts I’ve ever seen go like this:

    “this person got shot, this person got sentenced to 25 years, this scam is going around, look out for this disease, new trial starts tomorrow, roberry here,terrorism OMG, sex offenders OMG save us, house fire here, car crash here, famous person died, and oh yeah have your pets spayed or neutered”

    It’s all negative. It’s all people nowadays seem to care about.

  26. Adam Senour Said,
    >>>there could have been a better selection process, that’s all.

    Yes, also echoing my earlier posts, I agree. In that they’ve chosen to include a miserably stingy number of graphs they could have been more even handed in their selection.

    I really like BJones’s suggestion that such graphs should be generated universally on demand. Hey, how about such a “search and graph Zeitgeist” beta? Now there’s a feature I’d like to see.

  27. Good call, Andi. Let’s pick a wide-scale series of keywords and phrases and see what comes out of it.

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