Thursday, May 11, 2006

Inverse Popularity

Here's another inverse relationship: diet and exercise. Guess which is more popular with searches and which is more popular in the news. (Or, take a look.)

Google Trends is more addicting than I first thought. Not only is it easy to think of more comparisons after a first visit, but its news links also fuel ever more trend-watching.

There's one other thing Google could do here that would really ensure a productivity drop: incorporate Google Sets.

Sets is the last of the original toys in Google's technology playground. I'm impressed it's still around. Most other ideas disappear after a while, or "graduate" to become an official Google Service.

The secret behind Sets' staying power is it's fundamental nature. While Sets has never graduated, it's base code has been implemented in Google extensively. Just think of any related site link in search results, Finance, or wherever.

Here's why I think it would be helpful in Trends. The types of queries in Sets and the types of queries in Trends are nearly identical. For example: George W. Bush and Bill Clinton in Sets and in Trends.

The information from sets could be included in that big blank white space on Trends under the news links and to the right of the geographic and linguistic breakdown section. Call it "Related Searches" or something like that.

The terms could be linked directly to their own trend search, or there could be checkboxes for people to pick the related items they wanted to compare!

I think that would be really interesting.

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