I keep tabs on Google Hot Trends through a widget on my iGoogle homepageâ€”it’s a fascinating look at the most popular Google searches from the past few hours. Typically, the top searches are driven by breaking newsâ€”often related to celebrities.
Every now and then, a phrase will pique my curiosity, and I’ll take a closer look to see what has caused the sudden spike in interest. Not surprisingly, Oprah has been the driving force behind multiple hot trends over time.
Well, the "Oprah Effect" struck again on October 24, 2008, when the show featured the Amazon Kindle as Oprah’s favorite new gadget. This is an interesting illustration of how mainstream programming and news can reach well beyond original content, driving interested viewers to search for more information, and inspiring bloggers to chime in with their own thoughts on the matter.
Take a look at the spikes Oprah caused across the board when she featured the Kindle on her show—from search volume to blog posts to Twitter mentions.
Google Insights for Search
Kindle Search Volume: October, 2008
Google Hot Trends
October 24, 2008
Blog Mentions Over Time: Kindle
Twitter Flaptor Trends
Twitter Mentions Over Time: Kindle
This may be an extreme example, given the influence of Oprah, but it’s not an anomaly. It happens every day, to some extent. There are people searching for more information and talking about just about everything that appears in the media.