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WTF Dept. Google’s Top Searches ain’t really Top Searches
This post comes from the WTF Dept.
I spent a bit of time creating the post that shows the top searches from the different engines over the years. And today we learn that Google's Top Searches (and I bet the other engines too) are not really Top Searches, but "Whatever the F Google wants to show based on calculations."
Here is what Google said originally:
Google today announced its annual Zeitgeist, featuring lists and charts of the most popular and fastest-rising global search terms that people have typed into Google.com.
And here is what they posted today:
This is why when we come up with the lists of top searches on Google.com for 2006, we do not simply retrieve the most frequently-searched terms for the period — the truth is, they don't change that much from year to year. This list would be predominated by very generic searches, such as "ebay", "dictionary", "yellow pages," "games," "maps" — and of course, a number of X-rated keywords. These are constants, and although unquestionably popular, we don't think they actually define the Zeitgeist.
Instead, we looked for those searches that were very popular in 2006 but were not as popular in 2005 — the explosive queries, the topics that everyone obsessed over. To come up with this list, we looked at several thousand of 2006's most popular searches, and ranked them based on how much their popularity increased compared to 2005. ("Bebo", for example, had very little traffic in 2005.) We also gave a bit higher score to searches with more traffic. Similarly, our "what is" and "who is" lists are not necessarily the absolute most frequent searches, but rather those that best represent the passing year.
So basically that means that the terms in the list are not so much top searches as some computation (I assume) of movement. But since Bebo had almost no traffic in 2005, it would naturally have a higher movement power than most other terms.
I call a WTF on Google and am disappointed that they manipulated language to suit their needs and make a fancy terms list that would get them some buzz. That my friends, is so Web 1.0.