Monday, 1 October 2012

Santa Claus, Camper Vans And Swedish Girls

An analysis of some unusual Google searches...

When most people think of Google they probably think first and foremost of the Google search engine, then maybe after that they perhaps think of things like Google Earth and Gmail.

Searching for Santa on Google.
However, another cool gizmo which Google have is the Google Keywords Tool which is a fun way to pass the time if you ever have a spare half hour or so (especially if you’re easily amused like me).  It’s actually designed to help potential Google advertisers find useful key phrases to advertise on, but I use it to discover and explore some of the weird phrases that people actually search for on Google.

For example, did you know that every month 91 people actually search for:

‘Drinking urine good or bad?’

Unbelievable!  I mean what sort of a fool needs to seek further advice as to whether drinking urine is good or bad?  Apparently there must actually be people out there who are thinking, ‘Hmm, I wonder if I drank my pi**, would that be good or bad?’  So then they decide to consult Google.  Like … eh!?

Anyway, moving swiftly onto a nicer subject next which brought a smile to my face.  Every month on Google there are an average of 301,000 searches for:

‘Is Santa real?’

How times have changed.  In the olden days you would maybe find out from a mate’s older brother or sister that Santa wasn’t real.*  Or maybe if you were like me you would maybe do some sums based on how many people there are in the world and you’d realise that Santa couldn’t possibly have enough time to visit everyone in a single night.  But nowadays if you’re a kid and you want to know if Santa is real, you just google it.

* If any young ’uns happen to be reading this post then please note that Santa is of course real and your mate’s older brother or sister is just lying.

Santa's phone number, partially pixelised to respect his privacy.
As well as revealing the number of monthly searches a search term gets, Google Keywords Tool also suggests a list of alternative search phrases.  One of the suggested alternatives for ‘Is Santa real?’ was:

‘What is Santa’s real phone number?’

Not his fake phone number, but his real phone number.  The thought of kids logging on to their computers and googling Santa’s phone number brings a smirk to my face.  And also the fact that they apparently feel the need to clarify that they want his real phone number and not just some made-up number, is also an amusing insight into the way kids’ brains work.

Anyway, ‘What is Santa’s real phone number?’ gets on average 320 searches per month.  That must be what the smart kids search for.  They’re obviously one step ahead of their mates and they’ve decided they want to call Santa directly to tell him what presents to bring.

Moving on to the next search terms, I was absolutely shocked beyond belief by the following set of figures, but I promise you these are the actual real figures which I got from Google Keywords Tool.  Believe it or not, the search term...

‘Camper van’

...gets on average an impressive 450,000 monthly searches in the UK.  Nothing particularly remarkable about that you might think until you consider that rather more surprisingly, the search term...

‘Swedish girls’

...gets only a fraction of that at 9,900 searches per month!  That works out that almost 98% of the UK population are more interested in camper vans than they are in Swedish girls!

Swedish girls...  Of minor interest to camper van loving Brits.
Like … eh!?  What a bunch of fools!  Have they never seen Swedish girls!?  What are these people thinking!?  I know which one I’d rather search for!  In fact I probably account for at least half of those ‘Swedish girls’ searches made in the UK.

As well as revealing how many searches are made each month, Google Keywords Tool also reveals which terms advertisers prefer to bid on by assigning each search term a competition rating.  Potential advertisers can use these ratings to estimate which search terms would be comparatively cheap to advertise against and which would be a bit more pricey.  If anyone’s interested, at the time of writing the competition ratings for the search terms mentioned in this post were as follows:

Drinking urine good or bad?0.01
Is Santa real?0.55
What is Santa's real phone number?0.18
Camper van0.87!
Swedish girls0.04?

So perhaps not surprisingly, Santa appears to be a lot more popular than drinking urine with potential advertisers.  It’s a real eye opener though, to discover just how profitable the camper van industry must be in the UK as it’s even more popular with advertisers than Santa.

If anyone would like to explore and analyse Google search phrases for themselves then this is link to Google Keywords Tool:
Explore and analyse search phrases on Google using Google Keywords Tool

And if anyone manages to come up with any other weird search terms then please feel free to add a comment.

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Charles Fudgemuffin is the author of the comedy novel 'How To Save The World: An Alien Comedy' which is currently available as a free Kindle download from Amazon:

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About The Author

The 'How To Save The World' books
by Charles Fudgemuffin
Charles Fudgemuffin is the author of the alien comedy 'How To Save The World' books which are available for Kindle from Amazon.  The first book in the series is available from the following link:
How To Save The World: An Alien Comedy

As with all Kindle books, you can also download a free sample of the first few chapters.

Please note, the 'How To Save The World' books contain material suitable for ages 18+ and are not recommended for prudes or squares.