On the day of Novak Djokovic finally completing his career grand slam after an occasionally hard-fought battle with Brit, Andy Murray, Google trends once again suggests, perhaps, surprising internet searches by us Brits. Or, looking at it differently, highlights how easily certain news (or a hoax) can sway us.
Today’s most searched term on Google, in the UK, is Jack Black, with a modest 200,000+ searches. Having been offline for most of the day and having not seen or heard the news on the radio, I was unlikely to search for Jack black myself, as I was unaware of his apparent death (just 2 days after the death of the truly newsworthy Muhammad Ali).
Long story short, his TenaciousD band’s twitter account appears to have been hacked:
“Jack Black feared dead” headlines quickly became “Jack Black is ALIVE!”. It’s obviously sad when anyone passes away (especially at such a young age) but I’m not sure he’s a star who warrants such fervour. Certainly, if I had heard the news earlier, I’m certain it wouldn’t have influenced my searches today!.
Hopefully order will be restored later (Google trends updated hourly) as people seek to read about how “brave” Andy Murray succumbed to the mighty Djokovic but, for now, the UK seems most interested in a man who hasn’t died.
I’m not sure what the cut off is for Google’s daily trend data. Today’s high with 20,000+ (far fewer than typical weekday highs, how much time do people spend randomly Googling at work?) searches is Rangers…
However, given that Rangers lost the Scottish FA cup final today and that Hibs won it for the first time in over 100 years, it seems likely that searches for Hibernian football club may eclipse those for Rangers as the day progresses!
Let’s not forget that today is one of two cup finals, with the English FA Cup final also taking place at Wembley. With a later (17.30) kick-off, one may reasonably expect that searches for the two teams involved in this encounter (Manchester United and Crystal Palace) may reak their peak later in the day.
OK, so another quick look at the Google trends page reveals a statement that it was updated “about an hour ago”. Mental note to check again in about an hour.
Well, it’s certainly not much of a surprise to see that the disappearance of EgyptAir flight MS804 tops today’s Google searches in the UK with over 200,000.
While early reports spoke simply of a disappearance with radar contact being lost at 01:30 BST, it quickly became clear that something more sinister was likely to have happened to the flight carrying 66 passengers (30 Egyptians, 15 French and 10 other nationalities including one Briton).
Likely causes for the (now known to have crashed) plane’s plunge from the sky were discussed by various worldwide news outlets throughout the day. Whilst technical difficulties have not been ruled out, many are quick to point out that terrorism is a far more likely reason. Indeed, the BBC quotes Sherif Fathy, Egypt’s civil aviation minister, as “…the possibility of having a different action, or having a terror attack, is higher than the possibility of having a technical [fault].”
With debris now being picked up on Mediterranean shores, the investigation into the cause of the crash will gather momentum. It remains to be seen whether explanations will be found for the apparent 90° turn, followed by a 360° turn, before the sudden plunge, which was reported by Greek authorities.
Whatever the cause of this tragedy, Egypt is likely to remain cautious about releasing information regarding the plane for fear of unnecessarily impacting the country’s tourism industry, already facing serious losses following the downing of the Russian jet over the Sinai in October.
Bizarrely, the second most popular search today was for “Sky News”, with over 100000 queries for the term. Presumably some of those would be accounted for by queries from those seeking news on EgyptAir flight MS804, though.
Haha, cracking top search on Google in the UK today. One that triggered the oft repeated “broke the internet” claims etc. and surprised more than a few (kind of).
Viewing the daily Google trends both entertains and offers an occasionally illuminating insight into the major news stories and trends currently concerning the British public. Or highlights how low down the immediate interest level significant world events can lie in comparison to celebrity gossip…
Having spent very little time online today, Harvey Price’s breaking of the internet passed me by. However, sticking his name into Google quickly revealed the reason for his popularity today (and caused a bit of a chuckle).
Here’s what it brings up:
Yes, poor Harvey has gained even more fame/popularity by uttering the ‘C’ word on live television.
This has been referred to as a ‘gaffe’, ‘dropping the C-bomb’ and Harvey a ‘legend’ and an ‘anti-troll hero’. Surprisingly, perhaps, most of the posts, tweets and other online commentary has been positive. Indeed, the only negative comments are directed at his mother, Katie Price, who many accuse of exploiting her son.
But, truth be told, we’re probably all exploiting him by searching for him today and revelling in what happened. I’ve admitted I laughed at first (and still find it childishly amusing) but I think everyone will be full of support and admiration for the emotion and bravery he’s shown in indicating how he would/does stand up to the bullies who mock him.
The page linked above contains several top 5 lists, arranged by multiple categories. The top 3 (or the top 3 displayed) are “Female celebrities”, “Films” and “Hits”.
What caused my ire, though, and set the title for this post is that the fifth entry in the “Hits” list is “All About That Base”…yes, “Base”, not “Bass”. The incorrect title of this “hit” appears in fifth place. This tells us that more people search for this song mistakenly spelling bass as base than do the correct spelling. Expanding the list reveals that the correct spelling doesn’t make the top 10:-(
I must admit, this does make me despair in the education system and the current UK populous’ grasp of its native language.
It occured to me, though, that maybe 2015 was the year in which anglers took to the seas and focussed on bass. Clearly, Google has confused those anglers and provided misleading data to search engine aficionados.
And number 1 in the “Where is?” category? Well, it’s “Where is Mali?”. Clearly.