Politics and Elections Blog
Trends, tools and news from the Google Politics & Elections team
What search trends tell us about Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party
Thursday, October 27, 2011
When we launched our
Political Trendspotters Contest
last week, we heard from a number of users who wanted us to explore the trends around the Occupy Wall Street movement. After spending many days in the top 20 terms on
, we agreed that it would be useful to examine the dynamics of search queries in America related to OWS.
Across the American political spectrum, we have another grassroots movement that we can use for comparison purposes: the [Tea Party]. Based on search patterns from Google users, Americans' interest in these two large groups is clear.
Here’s what we found:
Searches for Occupy Wall Street started on Sept 16th & peaked one month later on October 15th
NY is tops in searches, right? Wrong. Top 3 states for most “Occupy” searches: Vermont, Oregon, New York
Search interest in OWS is higher than the Tea Party. Both currently and in looking at the birth of each
Searches for the Tea Party peak each April as Americans begin to file their taxes
The OWS movement saw its first spark of interest in search
on September 16th
. Two weeks later, interest across the United States spiked as Google users turned to the web to find out more about the group, peaking on October 15th. Recently, national search interest has receded, but Americans are still turning to the web to find out more information as the movement spreads out across the country — with the top 3 states being Vermont,
, and New York.
Search interest for [Occupy Wall Street] jumped ahead of the [Tea Party] on
, and hasn’t looked back. In a historical context, when viewing the snapshot of their nascent birth, we can see the peak of [Occupy Wall Street]
has slightly more interest in American than searches for the [Tea Party] did during the groups peak in 2009
(One other interesting trend to call out from the chart below: search interest in the [Tea Party]
peaks each year in early April
— just as Americans are gathering their tax returns to file!)
But, what about media coverage? Despite big leads in polls and search traffic for Occupy Wall Street, it is almost in a dead heat with the Tea Party for the volume of news coverage. Using
Advanced Search in Google News
we found that between October 7 and last week,
Occupy Wall Street
only barely bests the
when we examine the number of news pieces covering each movement: 29,000 to 22,000.
We’ll be keeping an eye on the trends that are shaping the political landscape across the country.
If you spot one, let us know
. It might just be featured in our next post.
Posted by: Jake Parrillo, Google Politics & Elections Team
1 comment :
February 21, 2014 at 9:55 AM
Great article about politics. thanks.
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