Google Trends is both fascinating and soul-crushing

I’ve been using Google Trends at work recently to help refine some search terms for a book on personal and professional success. If you’re not familiar with the tool, Google Trends is Google’s way of sharing basic information they gather including search terms and location.

I’m sure they have much more sophisticated analytics at Google HQ, but the peek into their data is fascinating, often funny, and sometimes disheartening. Here are some interesting finds:

The search term “how to be successful” is most searched by users from Nairobi, Kenya and Lagos, Nigeria. The US cities of Houston and San Diego appear in the top 10 cities on the list. I like to think those are cities full of people with the biggest dreams instead of the most soul-crushing unhappiness.
Interestingly, if you spell the same search term incorrectly, typing in “how to be succesful“…we’re back to the US. I can’t decide if this is because the US is stupid (we don’t know how to spell “successful”) or lazy (because Google will correct our spelling for us).
The search term “prayer heal” (and all other iterations of the term I could come up with) returns results ONLY from the United States and has risen steadily for the past few years. Some food for thought.
On a related note, there isn’t sufficient search volume to show any results for “can prayer heal” or “does prayer heal.” Our nation is not one of skeptics.
Presidential hopeful “Ben Carson” is a hit in Africa…
…while “Bernie Sanders” is more interesting to countries with a higher GDP and recorded level of happiness.
I love data. What interesting tidbits can you find in Google Trends?

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