Google Zeitgeist - Well What We Really Meant Was ...

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Some folks around the internet called Google out over their 2006 Zeitgeist data. Most notably techcrunch had this to say Google Top Searches: Based on Nothing

Google made a clarification today to their much criticized list of most popular queries in their search engine. The list raised eyebrows because it included some fairly unlikely terms. “Bebo” for example, was the number one term on the list.

Google originally described it as:

Google today announced its annual Zeitgeist, featuring lists and charts of the most popular and fastest-rising global search terms that people have typed into Google.com.

However they clarified it today saying

The Zeitgeist is "the spirit of time." This is why when we come up with the lists of top searches on Google.com for 2006, we do not simply retrieve the most frequently-searched terms for the period -- the truth is, they don't change that much from year to year. This list would be predominated by very generic searches, such as "ebay", "dictionary", "yellow pages," "games," "maps" -- and of course, a number of X-rated keywords. These are constants, and although unquestionably popular, we don't think they actually define the Zeitgeist.

They probably also don't want to highlight that searhes for their competition gets more searches than the #1 term they reported either.

A disturbing trend that seems to be emerging from Google is that many statements coming out of the plex have to be run through a google powered babel fish for us to get the real meaning of what they intended to say.

For example the firm denial that there was no sandbox followed two years later by the admission "there was something that might have sandbox like properties and be interpreted as a sandbox but really isn't a sandbox". The announcement of creation of the nofollow tag to combat blog spam followed by the complete misappropriation of now utilized tag for paid links. And recently the statement that there was no update followed by mysterious and unexplained data correction occurring in the middle of the day. And people complain about the title bait here being inaccurate and misleading ...

Comments

GW, I've been watching all of these "change of courses"

at Google, with one eyebrow firmly raised; but I still think the "titlebait" here (and the SEO Blog World in general) in the last year has been a bit over the top.

No suprises

Im beginning to think that teams of people are watching over every release PR or otherwise to ensure it is 100% google focused. The whole ommiting competition thing is poor sportsmanship in the end & they would do better to acknowledge their competiton than pretend it doesnt exist.

Should be more clear...

If they would be more clear, it's semi-interesting data. The top searched terms will always be generic terms and it's annoying reading long lists of top searched terms for 20 different categories. Doing what Google does, they've filtered out everything that didn't fit their secret criteria and then ranked the terms- just like they do with their search.

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