Google Trends Showing A Swastika (卐)?

Dave Shaw notified me of a weird character being displayed as a “hot trend” on Google Trends this morning.

It appears that Google is displaying a swastika as 卐. This appears to be some sort of Chinese character, but the swastika is well known for its usage in Nazi Germany and has been a very controversial symbol since. Here is a picture of Google Trends at the time I write this:

卐 on Google Trends

When you view the trends result, you see there are only blog posts but zero news articles, which makes you wonder what is really going on here.

Is this a form of search spam to trick Google Trends in showing a swastika, or am I missing something completely? The symbol was originally used in religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism, and is still used today. But it is most well-known for Nazi use when it is turned at an angle.

Postscript: A Google spokesperson gave us a statement:

The Hot Trends list is automatically generated by machines and algorithms that detect hot or breaking queries. In this case, it appears that the html code for this query was posted on a popular internet bulletin board, which led to quite a few people searching to find out more about this symbol. The Hot Trends list reflected that surge due to people searching with this query.

Related Topics: Channel: Search Marketing | Google: Trends


About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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