“Which candidates America was Googling during the first Democratic presidential debate - East Bay Times” plus 1 more
Posted: 26 Jun 2019 12:00 AM PDT
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It's too early to say which of the presidential candidates in Wednesday night's Democratic debate managed to convince Americans to vote for them. But at least we know which of them inspired the millions of people watching to Google them.
Little-known Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker got the most Google search traffic in the U.S. over the two-hour debate, according to the company's Google Trends service. They were followed by former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Search traffic isn't a stand-in for who debate-watchers are supporting — in many cases, viewers could be turning to Google to try to figure out who these people actually are. But it's at least one sign of which candidates' answers are the most intriguing to voters, and which candidates they want to know more about.
Each candidate saw a bump in search traffic when they were asked a question and got their 60 seconds in the spotlight. And the responses that seemed to provoke the most searches often involved the contenders talking about their personal lives and relating national policy issues to their own experiences.
Notably, Gabbard led in searches across most of the country while Booker was at the top in Southern states. Warren was first only in her home state of Oklahoma, which she mentioned during the debate.
Some of the answers that led to the biggest spikes:
Gabbard's responses on foreign policy. The Hawaii congresswoman was near the bottom of the pack of the debate in terms of speaking time. But nearly every time she showed up onscreen, she saw a big rise in search traffic. That was especially pronounced during her answers about foreign policy, when Gabbard, an Army National Guard veteran who served in Iraq, called for scaling back U.S. military involvement abroad and declared that "this president and his chicken hawk cabinet have led us to the brink of war with Iran."
In another widely searched moment, Gabbard had a testy back-and-forth with Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan and corrected his statement that the Taliban was "flying planes into our buildings" on 9/11 (it was Al Qaeda). And the single biggest Google search moment for any candidate in the race was Gabbard's closing argument. While she hasn't gotten much national attention so far, Gabbard's search results suggest that viewers were interested in her dovish stances — or at least wanted to figure out who she was.
De Blasio talking about police violence and his family. The New York City mayor ignored a question about Sen. Mitch McConnell to instead talk about gun and police violence and relate it to his personal life. "For the last 20 years I've been raising a black son in America. And I have had to have very serious talks with my son Dante about how to protect himself in the streets of our cities all over this country," said de Blasio, who's white.
Dante was the star of a TV ad that helped the little-known de Blasio surge to the front of the pack during his 2013 mayoral race, and national viewers were clearly intrigued. This moment is an example of how sometimes it works well for candidates to talk about the issues they want to instead of answering questions posed by moderators.
Cory Booker on gun violence. Booker also saw a big dividend from relating gun violence to his own life. He made an emotional call for gun control, spiking in search traffic after he declared "I hear gunshots in my neighborhood… I hope I'm the only one on this panel here that had seven people shot in their neighborhood just last week."
The New Jersey senator lives in Newark, and has made it a staple of his campaign speech to say he's the only White House hopeful who goes home to an inner-city community. "I'm tired of hearing people (say) all they have to offer is thoughts and prayers," Booker said to big applause.
Elizabeth Warren's closing statement. Warren came into Wednesday's debate as the clear frontrunner of this cohort of candidates, but none of the other contenders took a swipe at her, instead fighting among themselves. She had solid search traffic throughout the debate and peaked with her closing argument, the final answer of the debate, in which she described how going to a "50-dollar-a-semester commuter college" changed her life.
"That was a little slice of government that created some opportunity for a girl, and it opened my life," Warren said. "I promise you this, I will fight for you as hard as I fight for my own family." Her answer was a compelling, 45-second summation of her platform, and another sign of how telling a personal story can make a powerful mark.
Posted: 12 Dec 2018 12:00 AM PST
Google has released its annual "Year in Search Data", which can be found on its trends page along with a fresh video journey through 2018 in search. While most of the tech blogs are focusing on the overall top trending search items, there is just as much if not more value to be found in the what, how, where and who of it all. Spoiler: as much as you love Googling your own name, you weren't the who.
It should be noted that the following search items are the top trending search terms of 2018, not the "most searched" or "top searches" overall, just what searches were trending the most in the United States over the last year.
The top trending search term of 2018 was "World Cup," but people weren't as keen to worry about how to watch it. Rather, they wanted to know how to vote and how to register to vote — the top two searches under "how to". Following that, the people were hedging their bets against the possibility of a well functioning democracy, searching for how to play Mega Millions, how to buy Ripple, how to buy Bitcoin and how to play Powerball. They also searched for how to get the old Snapchat back and how to get boogie down emote (whatever that is) so at least if that quick pick doesn't pay out they can still enjoy emoting on Snapchat.
Just as no-one but your mom and stalker wanted to know how to find you, where you actually are isn't a concern. But people sure did want to know where Villanova University is (it's in Pennsylvania). Or perhaps they were reacting to Villanova's sleep texting study. Other trending searches in this category were a bit more obvious, with people searching for the location of Parkland, Florida, as well as where hurricane Michael and Florence were located. Good news for the democracy though, as people were also heavily searching for their polling place.
What is Bitcoin? What is Racketeering? While there is no direct correlation, it feels like these two items might be related at some point in time. The rest of the "what is" list reads like some demented textbook shopping list held in the hand of a student who has switched majors twelve times. What is Fortnite (Battle Royale 101), what is Good Friday (Religion 202), what is a duck boat (WWII History) and what is Yanny Laurel (Audio Sciences). What does all this mean? It means I can no longer lie to my kids about duck boats being actual boats for actual ducks.
Who won the Mega Millions? Not you. Who dies in Infinity War? I have no idea. Who won McGregor vs. Khabib? You had money on it but couldn't spring for the pay-per-view? Who won Logan or KSI? We all lost. Who won the election? Do you live on an island? Who bit Beyoncé? Wait, someone bit the queen bee? Who is Lil Tay? Was it Lil Tay? Who is Marshmello? Something you put in hot chocolate. I think the thing to take away from this sub-category is that if someone is searching for the who of it all, it is a totally justified search.
Finally, it should be pointed out that unicorn cake was the highest trending search item for food, which is fantastic, but Keto diet recipes showed up on that list in five spots. Keto was also the top trending search for diets. My conclusion here is that a unicorn cake diet is probably the best diet you can ever choose. Sadly, I've lost my appetite since the top trending fashion search was for 1980s fashion. Why can't we just let the 80s die already? Search for that next year.
You can check out the entire Google top trending searches of 2018 report here.
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