Search Trends on Google, 2022

Hits: 26

Unless something major happens in December to upset all stats (which can happen these days), I will embark on an end-of-year reflection on search trends in 2022, in a timelier fashion than I did for 2021.

Worldwide Rankings

Worldwide, according to the SEO specialists at SimilarWeb, searches for YouTube and Facebook led the rankings at 3 billion and 1.7 billion searches over the past 11 months, respectively. About 1% of these were the result of paid searches, or search results that were the result of a user clicking on a paid link at the top of the seach results. For the record, I am only considering non-paid seaches in my rankings.

“Translate” was in third place, leading to Google Translate. But this might need to be combined with the search term “google translate”, which is at #7; and “traductor”, which is at #10.

Search terms for four porn sites rank in the top 20 worldwide: pornhub (#4), xvideos (#11), xnxx (#15), and just “porn” (#20). Two of those search terms led to PornHub, who ranks fourth in the world for search terms. Other blogs I have noticed tried to not mention how porn ranks in searches, and even tries to bleep out who they are and where they lie on table screenshots. But I think people know about porn. It’s too late for that. 11 porn sites are in the top 100 searches worldwide. I am counting OnlyFans in the 11. The horses have all escaped, so there is no sense closing the barn door now.

More people care about PornHub than about the weather. Weather is the 5th most searched term in the world, while “amazon” is at #6, as the top retail search term. The top brick-and-mortar retail search term worldwide appears to be Ikea (#60). The next most popular brick-and-mortar retailer appears to be Home Depot (#86).

Google promotes itself quite a bit, since it suggests itself in 11 of the top 100 search terms wordwide. But that might not be entirely their fault. “Google” (#14) has been a Google search term more often than more often than most porn sites, Twitter (#16) , Netflix (#17), or NFL (#28), and certainly more often than the next-used search engine, Yahoo (#33). Bing is not mentioned in the top 100.

C appears to be the most-searched for programming language at the #46 spot; and searches for news sources trail that: “news” (#48), “BBC news” (#85), and “ukraine” (leads to CNN.com) (#92). “wordle” (#53) has been searched more often than “paypal” (#54), indicating the degree of popularity this game has earned over the 2022 year.

Necessity-based search terms appear to be popular. “calculator” (#49) appears to be more popular than “google docs” (#67), “reddit” (#78), and “discord” (#96). Discord is a social media/academic site popular with high school kids and undergrads in college.

People have been googling “speedtest” (#73) to test their internet speed, and this search term beat out searches for “bitcoin” (#75), “airbnb” (#76), and “spotify” (#89). It is no surpise that Bitcoin has plummeted in popularity, as curiosity is drying up regarding its presumed value and novelty. The price of Bitcoin began the year at around $60,000 per coin, and has entered December losing 2/3 of that value.

Worldwide trends

“Trending” seaches or “trending” anything is a misleading word. There is a misguided tendency to conflate “trending” with “popular”.  When something is said to be “trending” in the online world, it means that the number of searches for that “thing” has increased by so many per cent relative to some time in the past, such as last year. For example, if I wrote something that got 1 hit last month, and this month it got 2 hits, my article is “trending”, since it is getting 100% more hits from last month to this month. It is a stat that hides the absolute number of hits by just reporting relative increases or decreases, and might be used to exaggerate the popularity of that search term in discussions.

I will skip foreign-language searches, which are present everywhere under this umbrella.

Not a single “trending” seach term is present in the above-mentioned top 100 in the year 2022. The top trend was “Amazon Prime Day”, a sale that was on a little while ago, which hadn’t existed before. From the initial advertising traffic to Amazon.com increased 67-fold by the end of the sale. It was the #1 trending search term on Google in 2022.

At #3 “amtrak” has trended, possibly in connection with a looming labour dispute recently. It appears apparent that other trends are often in connection with fleeting events and entertainment news, such as “wimbledon” (#10), “johnny depp verdict” (#16), “the summer i turned pretty” (#6) (the name of an online video series), “bjork” (#14) who returned to Iceland this year after living in the US for some decades.

Lots of people use eset antivirus, since license renewals are trending at #32 and #35, with a 17 to 19-fold increase over the year. It kind of stands out among the “trendy” stuff, and wasn’t intended as a plug.

Search Trends in the USA

I will skip the top 100 terms in the USA, since there are many similarities to the top worldwide search terms.

But something about the “trending” list for United States offered by SimilarWeb gave me pause. The #2 search term trending in 2022, up 129-fold since supposedly last year, is “what is a woman”.

It is interesting that “us map”, trending at #9 worldwide, is trending at #6 in America. “Disney Plus” (#10) trended more than “oil prices” (#17), “roe v wade overturn” (#33), “student loan forgiveness 2022” (#57), and “disinformation” (#87).

The American trends show their current fixation on celebrity and scandal. “duchess kate” (#19), “beyonce” (#22), “sid vicious” (#24), “anna nicole smith” (#26) are just a few. At least 20 of the top 100 trending searches had celebrity names. Johnny Depp appears three times in search trends, but all below #90.

“amazon prime day” didn’t trend nearly as well as it did globally, being at #70. It trended less than searches for “brett kavanaugh” (#65) and “bill nye” (#46). It was slightly less trendy than searches for “republicans” (#69). Judging by search trends, there is not as much curiosity for republicans or their causes as the media would have us believe.

 

The ABCs of auto-complete

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Filling out “What is _____”?

The rule is: write a word or two about the first topic I see from the autocomplete dropdown.

Antifa: antifa=”anti fascist”
Bitcoin: (I swear, I am just following the first thing I see!) an alternate currency used to purchase items online. (blockchain, a term related to bitcoin, came in third)
climate change: Big topic. Good luck with that project, kids.
DACA: The acronym for an Obama-era immigration programme called “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals”, currently under threat by Donald Trump.
eid: A Muslim festival
fentanyl: a painkiller, too powerful for humans
gout: pain, too powerful for most people. Just try not to use fentanyl.
hpv: human papilloma virus
instagram: a way to share photos and videos via your smartphone
justice: a clothing store for young girls.
kombucha: a fermented Chinese tea
lupus: people seem to have a morbid interest in nasty diseases so far, don’t they?
ms: see?
nafta: an agreement which drains manufacturing jobs to Mexico, while causing Mexican to do the same work in squalid conditions for a fraction of the wages.
osteoporosis: a leaching of calcium from the bones, causing them to weaken.
pinterest: why is this at the top of google? I would bet that the site is something like “pinterest.com” — isn’t that worth a try to find out first-hand?
queer: a gay or lesbian person. The Google dictionary did not offer that as a definition, by the way, which is rather queer, to use the Google definition.
room temperature: 68 fahrenheit or 20 celsius.
Sarahah: Great. Another app which provides a way to harass others anonymously.
transgender: sense of personal identity does not relate to thei r biologically-assigned sex.
uber: Outstanding or Supreme; also a transport company.
vpn: virtual private network
whole milk: milk with around 4% milk fat
xanax: a mood drug
your name: yes, that really came up first for “y”
zip code: doesn’t apply to me, I don’t have a zip code

The questions of our ‘net denizens

Hits: 16

From time to time one gets curious about the most popular questions on the minds of people on the ‘net.

If I enter “why” in the Google search, depending on the letter that comes after, I get, through autocomplete:

  • Why be happy when you could be normal
  • Why does Facebook suck
  • Why fighting should stay in hockey
  • Why? For the glory of Satan, of course!
  • Why girls like bad boys
  • Why hashtag
  • Why hipsters are annoying
  • Why jailbreak Apple TV
  • Why Jesus
  • Why Jimi Hendrix is the best
  • Why Justin Bieber sucks
  • Why Kakashi killed Rin
  • Why Kanye West is a Genius
  • Why Lululemon
  • Why men cheat
  • Why married men cheat
  • Why milk is bad for you
  • Why Mio is bad for you
  • Why not both
  • Why nice guys finish last
  • Why Nintendo power is ending
  • Why Nunu Why
  • Why Pepsi is better than Coke
  • Why powerful men cheat
  • Why pixar movies are all secretly about the apocalypse
  • Why stop now
  • Where is Chuck Norris
  • Where is my mind
  • Where do bad kids go
  • Where are your gibes now
  • Where is bigfoot
  • Where can I buy cards against humanity
  • Where do cool things happen
  • Where did God leave his shoes
  • Where was Justin Bieber born
  • Where does Kate Middleton shop
  • Where does Kylie Jenner shop
  • Where is my droid
  • Where was Micheal Jackson born

Dennis Ritchie, dead at 70

Hits: 15

“K&R Book”, first edition.

Computer programmer Dennis Ritchie passed away today at age 70. Ritchie co-invented the UNIX operating system with Ken Thompson at Bell Labs in 1969, while co-authoring the C programming language with Brian Kernighan around the same period. In 1978, Kernighan and Ritchie co-authored the book “The C Programming Language”, now known as the K&R book. The peculiar syntactical styles they introduced in their coding examples from that book became known as “K&R style” or “K&R syntax”.

Without UNIX there would be no Linux, no Snow Leopard, Android, or OSX. No Google, no Amazon. Without C there wouldn’t be, well, actually, there wouldn’t be much of anything. Most stable programs that are in common use today were written in the C programming language. Our internet protocols depend on software written in it. 40 years on, C is still in wide use by many programmers for a wide variety of applications large and small. There are also a spawning of both interpreted and compiled languages that mimic many of C commands and syntax, such as Java, Awk, C++, C#, csh, Perl, and the list goes on.

 

Yesterday’s moped ride: Lakeshore/Trafalgar to LinuxCaffe in Toronto

Hits: 16

Image cut and pasted from Google Maps

I did this ride yesterday, taking Lakeshore Road (Lakeshore Boulevard in Toronto) for almost the whole length. Construction on the Gardener closed it for the downtown core, diverting almost all traffic to Lakeshore Boulevard, slowing it down considerably. However, even in the fast parts, I was still able to keep up with the traffic. I bailed out at Canada Drive, and rode the CNE grounds to the exit at Strachan, taking the bridge north. Went the wrong way on Palmerston past Queen (according to Google, but saw no street sign saying “One Way”. And the oncoming drivers didn’t seem to mind, but I admit the street was quite narrow), and turned left at Harbord.

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