Google trends

July 4 2006

Sorry for a bit of radio silence...four-day weekend for some of us state-side as we celebrate, in my daughter's words, "it's America's birthday ... we get to eat cupcakes!"

Anyway, one of the geek things I've gotten around to this weekend is looking at Google Trends.  Several of you have sent links along for me to take a look at this emerging Google feature.  It's pretty cool.  I am just amazed at the computing power that must be behind it -- that in about one second, it can graph years of search data, correlate with news reports, and even do multiple comparative operations simultaneously.  This is the kind of thing which, years ago, we would have asked someone to "run a report".

So here's the Google trend for Lotus Notes:

Image:Google trends
The letters correspond to specific news events..."D", for example, is the announcement of the availability of Notes/Domino 7.  You can also see peaks in the news volume in early 05 and '06, likely correlating to Lotusphere.

The overall trend line is downward, but that doesn't worry me much -- the same is true for the competition.  Speaking of competition, several readers noted the comparative trends for Lotus Notes vs. Microsoft Outlook -- Almost identical (blue = Notes, red = Outlook):
Image:Google trends

The last interesting bit is where those Notes searches are coming from.  The normalized data, meaning that the proportion of all searches from these cities is factored in, puts several Asian cities at the top of the list:
Image:Google trends

You can also break this down by region, and learn that, for example, Notes queries outnumber Outlook ones in Columbus, Milwaukee, and Washington DC.

In the end, I'm not sure what the data tells us.  Numbers can often tell whatever story you wish, right?

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