Webometric Thoughts

May 8, 2009

Google Trends: Where is the API?

Filed under: Google Trends — admin @ 12:49 pm

I rarely use Google Trends, prefering instead the advanced features of Google Insights for Search. I returned to the site, however, as Google announced a Google Trends Widget.

Whilst interesting, it’s a far cry from the Application Programming Interface we were assured was coming back in 2007!

I often get annoyed at the state of APIs (e.g., here and here), but to promise an API and then 18 months later roll out a crappy little widget is just annoying.

October 9, 2007

Is Manchester the second city or just a big footballing city?

Filed under: Google Trends,Hitwise,football — admin @ 11:59 am

Hitwise has access to loads of data that I would love to get my hands on, the sort of data that would keep me busy for the rest of my academic life. It is therefore probably pure jealousy that makes me complain about some of the ways it utilises its data. Its latest post addresses the question: Which is the UK’s second city? As well as showing the traffic to the cities’ respective tourist information sites, it also shows that Manchester is searched for more often than Birmingham.

Unfortunately it fails to mention one particularly word. Football. Manchester United are the current premiership champions, whilst Manchester City ride high in the table under the previous England manager Sven Goran Eriksson. In comparison Birmingham City bob between the premiership and the championship and Aston Villa doesn’t even have Birmingham in their title!

Does football make much of a difference? Well Google trends would seem to suggest that it can. Liverpool can be seen to have shot past Manchester on the back of its footballing glories (and failures), whilst Arsenal have have captured as many hits as Manchester on occassion without the additional ‘city’ searches.

I appreciate that the purpose of these articles is to show the sort of data Hitwise can provide your company with, but these sort of analyses are just a bit annoying…but as I say, its probably just jealousy.

September 28, 2007

Christmas search term analysis

Filed under: Google Trends,Hitwise,N95,iphone,webometrics — admin @ 9:36 am

Hitwise have just published a list of the top hot christmas gadgets based on search term analysis, which provides “great insight into people’s habits and desires”. However when the iPhone fails to make the top 10 mobile phones you have to question the methodology.

Hitwise analysed:

the top 2,000 search terms that sent traffic to a Hitwise Custom Category consisting of the top 100 online retail websites in the UK during the four weeks ending 22nd September 2007.

Rather than listing the gadgets that people are after, it may be that the list shows those gadgets that: people are after AND online retail websites dominate the search results.

Hitwise’s excuse that: “The new iPod Touch and the UK release of the iPhone were announced too late to have a significant impact on the retail search data”, doesn’t seem to hold much water, as we can see from Google Trends that searches for the iPhone in the UK are up with the N95, whilst the Nokia 5300 doesn’t even register.

There is a lot of interesting data held in the logs of web servers, but it is important that we don’t get carried away with how much we read into them.

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