Thursday, May 31, 2007

Hot Trends for Street View, etc.

I'd have a fine (or serrefine) time tallying all of today's spelling bee words.

But instead, I'll take a moment to make this suggestion: Why not Hot Trends for other Google services? For instance, wouldn't you like to see the top-rising Street View requests on Google Maps? (By the way, both street view and street views have made the Hot Trends.)

Andrew Speaker & the Loch Ness Monster

A full 10% of the Hot Trends now concern the ongoing tuberculosis story:

3. andrew speaker
8. speaker law firm
11. sarah cooksey
21. robert c. cooksey
57. tb
65. tb patient
73. andrew speaker attorney atlanta
92. xdr tb
97. ted speaker
98. tuberculosis

Another 5% for the Loch Ness Monster:

5. loch ness video
6. gordon holmes loch ness
22. bbc scotland
36. loch ness monster footage
37. bbc scotland loch ness

Now if we could only find out whether Linsday Lohan was involved in either story ....


I'm not sure which is a more depressing comment on society:

lindsay lohan stripper video (currently not hot -- but really popular last night)

how to poop at work (currently 89th)

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Feedback loop

Musing ...

If enough people search on Google for Hot Trends phrases in order to learn more about them, those phrases will remain hot for longer than they would have. And then, in turn, more people might search for those phrases ....

But how many people will do that (instead of just reading the lists or clicking the links)?

I can't be the only one who's doing that now ...

Chinese query

(27th on Hot Trends at this time)

Hot Trends is localized to the USA. I think that means that it includes searches only from United States IP addresses. It could conceivably encompass all searches on But since there are many people who know Chinese in the US, a popular query in Chinese need not necessarily come from users in Asia.

In any case, I believe that this is the first query on Hot Trends in a non-Latin alphabet.

Does anyone know what the query means in English? Google Translate offers the translation "By Ma Wai" ... interesting, but unhelpful.

Spicy city

Yesterday, I highlighted a search term that's long and alphabetical. Today, I'll mention a search term that's short and numerical:


At the moment, it's a "spicy" 14th on Hot Trends. It's yet another query from Texas -- this time, for the ZIP code of San Marcos, south of Austin.

Is it a puzzle clue? Something else?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Goo's Clues

I began this blog because I was fascinated that crossword clues were showing up in Google Hot Trends. But now I realize that puzzle clues are only one remarkable aspect of Google's top-rising searches.

Thus, I am expanding the scope of The Cluetrends Manifestation. I've replaced the blog's original subtitle "Puzzle Clues + Google Hot Trends = ??" with "What Hot Trends Can Tell Us About Google ... And About Ourselves." In other words, the "clues" I'm interested in aren't just puzzle clues, but clues about Google and its users.

[Incidentally, I say "Ourselves" while recognizing that Hot Trends is only available for the USA at this time. I anticipate -- or at least hope -- that Hot Trends will soon be available elsewhere.]

There's long, and then there's loooooooooong


Currently 35th.

What would we do without cutting and pasting?
We'd misspell pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Google Current and Hot Trends

Current TV devotees will recognize Hot Trends as essentially an extension of the Zeitgeist bumps (ten top-rising searches) on Google Current. It could be illuminating to compare the Current lists with the Hot Trends from the same time. (In the last hour, I noticed a Google Current list that was slightly different from the one on Hot Trends.)

Is there an archive of Zeitgeist data from Google Current?

Long phrases in Hot Trends

I believe that people usually such for short phrases on Google. A phrase longer than five words is unusual. Nevertheless, some very long phrases stand out on Hot Trends.

On Sunday, May 27, the number 23 Hot Trends search was a twelve-word phrase: cell phone subscribers in iraq and phone use has gone up 158. This phrase was part of a "Good News from Iraq" email in 2005. Why is it popular again?

There are also two long questions -- rather than crossword clues -- in the list for Monday, May 28, 2007 (4 PM PDT).

72. what 1961 movie helped spark a new food craze when warren beatty asked “hey what is pizza

87. what state waited until 2000 to ask minnesota for the confederate flag lost during pickett’s charge

Replies to the first question on Yahoo! Answers indicate that it comes from a trivia contest on KILT radio in Houston. I suspect that the second question comes from the same source. Maybe I'll subscribe to KILT's Loyal Listener Club to keep track of future contests!

Incidentally, I noticed some Houston-related crossword clues in a previous Hot Trends list. I'll explore the issue of "Houston" searches in a later post.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Google's Hot Clues

How high can a clue phrase get in Google Hot Trends?

From scanning the first two weeks of results, I'd say about 16th on average, with significant variation.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007: 17. indian bean tree

Wednesday, May 16, 2007: 18. picnic playwright

Thursday, May 17, 2007: 25. trojan wise man

Friday, May 18, 2007: 13. 1999 ian mckellen film

Saturday, May 19, 2007: 14. scottish royal house

Sunday, May 20, 2007: 25. author janowitz

Monday, May 21, 2007: 15. son of judah

Tuesday, May 22, 2007: 35. harry belafonte s daughter

Wednesday, May 23, 2007: 28. singer irene

Thursday, May 24, 2007: 11. deuterium discoverer

Friday, May 25, 2007: 5. vietnamese dress

Saturday, May 26, 2007: 7. hermes winged sandals

Sunday, May 27, 2007 (1 PM PDT): 11. composer scarlatti

Any patterns? Any suggestions why these phrases, and not others, got so high?

[By the way, I define a "clue phrase" as a phrase that looks like a crossword puzzle clue and that doesn't have a logical explanation in the daily news or blogosphere. Of course, some phrases may appear to be clues though they're not -- or vice versa. The phrases I've listed are my best guesses at the top clue phrases.]

Friday, May 25, 2007

As midnight approaches in Mountain View ...

The puzzle-clue phrases grow fewer and farther between as the day draws to a close. Still, some clues show up in the final list for the full 24-hour period. For example, see the Hot Trends list for May 24, 2007, which includes "23. entertaining mr. sloane playwright" and "56. cat played by fonda" (among others).

The Cluetrends Manifestation

With apologies to Messrs. Locke, Levine, Searles, & Weinberger, I present ... The Cluetrends Manifestation!

I admit that the grand introduction -- and especially the exclamation point -- is a bit overdone. Still, it seems significant that puzzle clues can have so much effect on Google's Hot Trends (at least in the USA).

This blog will explore the "Cluetrends" phenomenon. My first question to you -- perhaps a simple question, perhaps not -- is: Why do crossword clues appear so frequently in Google Hot Trends?