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April 19, 2002

Ogling Google: "Jesus" is Bigger than "The Beatles"

Ogling Google: "Jesus" is Bigger than "The Beatles".

"John Lennon's 1966 assertion that "The Beatles are bigger than Jesus," may have been true then, but not now. At Google, roughly 170,000 people a month search for "The Beatles," while 850,000 a month search for Jesus. (830,000 search for "Beatles.")

I found these numbers using Google's Adwords program, which uses historical data to estimate how many times a "keyword" is sought in a day, week and month. Joanne Jacobs notes that many people have not used Adwords yet, so here's the crib sheet: a) configure an ad and press "continue" b) insert the name of your favorite pop icon in the "Keyword Matching" field and press "Update Keyword Estimates" button c) note the result and start again....

Ogling Google, or, for short, Oogling, could make a great new bar game. With some imaginative programming, Oogling could put marketing research and polling companies out of business.

The Oogle's absolute data is much more engaging than the zeitgeist "hit list" numbers that make relative comparisons among popular searches. With the raw numbers, we can peel back the consumer's skull and watch the synapses fire.

Yes, Jesus (850,000) beats The Beatles. But even "cheese" gets 750,100. Harry Potter gets 920,000. Clinton gets 1,030,100. Jennifer Lopez gets 1,135,100. Eminem gets 1,235,100. And Britney Spears gets 2,540,200.

Britney is nearly twice as big as God, who gets just 1,295,100 searches. But she's smaller than football, which gets 2,605,200. (All these numbers were researched in early April.)

Beyond celebrity watching, there are brands. Who would have guessed that Adobe gets 2,570,200 searches a month compared to 3,590,300 for Oracle and 6,495,600 for Microsoft. Coke pulls only 216,800 requests....

Proving that many people still don't understand the Internet, the word "Google" itself gets searched for on Google 1,685,200 times a month and www.google.com gets 140,000 searches. That compares to 4,785,400 searches for Yahoo and 350,000 for www.yahoo.com.

If you were BMW (2,305,100) and had just spent $10 million on an adblitz, wouldn't you like to see how much your Oogle jumped relative to Mercedes (1,303,900) or Porsche (927,700) and relative to the Oogle of other premium words like champagne(195,800)?

If you're really ambitious marketeer, you'll want to know how your word measures against the world's hottest. But chances are you aren't within an order of magnitude of sex, which pulls 32,657,300 searches a month." [Pressflex, via Scripting News]

[The Shifted Librarian]