Google Asks: Can Search Trends Predict The Oscars?

Search activity on Bing didn’t help predict the Grammy winners this year; Lady Gaga was the subject of about a zillion more searches than Album of the Year winner, The Arcade Fire. Klout scores also couldn’t predict the Grammy Award winners. In fact, social media as a whole failed to tell us who the winners would be in advance.

But despite all that, Google is asking if search trends can predict the Oscar winners, and it’s created a mini-site called Oscar Search Trends to let us see who’s winning the search activity race.


As of this moment, Black Swan would be the favorite for Best Picture — if Google search activity is any measure of things to come. The site shows trends for all of the major Oscar categories and a lot of minor ones, too – about two dozen in all. (There’s also a countdown to the awards ceremony, but Google’s clock is off by three hours; it starts at 8:00 pm ET on February 27th, not 8:00 pm PT.)

Based on film awards that have already been announced, the New York Times says that The King’s Speech is the favorite for Best Picture. But in the end, prior awards, search activity and social media may tell us nothing about who’ll win the Oscars this year. It may be that a German cross-eyed opossum has as good a chance as anyone … including Google.

Related Topics: Channel: Search Marketing | Google: Trends | Google: Web Search | Search & Society: General | Top News


About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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  • T Campbell

    And now we demonstrate that the correct answer is “No,” followed by “you idiots.”

    Search stats tell you what the general public is curious about. Awards are decided by a specific, knowledgeable committee based on their informed opinions. Using one to measure the other is like using a thermometer to determine your child’s height. I understand the desire to relate yourself to the cool thing everyone’s talking about, but do it well, or not at all.

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