Data Strategy

June 11, 2007

What are people searching for on the web?

Filed under: May offend, People and Data, Search — chucklam @ 12:16 am

People seem to have a lot of curiosity on finding what other people are searching for on the web. To satisfy such curiosity, Google has Hot Trends and Yahoo has Buzz to talk about the most popular searches and the “hot” topics of the moment.

Metaspy, one of the niche search engines from Infospace, is taking it one step further. They are showing in real-time (well, 15 second intervals) what people are looking for on the Metaspy search engine. It makes for a fascinating reading when you want to kill some time or procrastinate from what you should be doing.

Looking at the unfiltered list, “adult” queries seem to dominate. The list seems to guarantee the showing of 10 queries every 15 seconds. Obviously they don’t get queries coming in at exactly that rate. There’s certainly some sampling strategy involved. I don’t know if they ever get less than 10 queries every 15 seconds. (The search engine is pretty obscure, after all.) In those situation I guess they repeat previous queries to guarantee the showing of 10. (I do notice repeated exact queries pretty often, although that may reflect actual behavior.) That sampling method makes the data less useful for analysis, but keeps the entertainment value for some people.

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