Google Trends is a great tool to get an overview on terms people are searching for with the largest search engine in the world. It also shows interesting trends. And something is definitely going on with searches for a few large social networks using Google.
At some point in mid January, a group of sites including Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Flickr, and Foursquare saw a huge drop in number of searches for their domains. Now, to be clear, these are only searches for the .com names, for example, “facebook.com” and “youtube.com” and not just the terms “facebook” and “youtube” themselves. Still, across the board, traffic had been rising for these .com domains and then at the same time all dropped off a cliff.
One might think this has to do with the China situation (Google warned it might have to pull out of China after saying it would remove previous restraints on searches). But drilling down into the data shows that while the searches from China did take a big fall, they did as well from other countries around the world too.
Other sites saw drops as well, but by far these large social sites saw the most pronounced drops that all seem to be aligned. Weirdly, google.com did not see any drop (though I’m not sure who uses Google to google google.com).
We’ve reached out to Google for some clarification or insight into this and will update when we hear back. The logical answer would seem to be that they switched something in mid-January that led to these huge drops in social site searches on Google, but who knows. Maybe we have a wild honey bee extinction situation going on here within Google.
Google provides search and advertising services, which together aim to organize and monetize the world’s information. In addition to its dominant search engine, it offers a plethora of online tools and platforms including: Gmail, Maps, YouTube, and Google+, the company’s extension into the social space. Most of its Web-based products are free, funded by Google’s highly integrated online advertising platforms AdWords and AdSense. Google promotes the idea that advertising should be highly targeted and relevant to users thus providing...
Foursquare is a geographical location based social network that incorporates gaming elements. Users share their location with friends by “checking in” via a smartphone app or by text message. Points are awarded for checking in at various venues. Users can connect their Foursquare accounts to their Twitter and Facebook accounts, which can update when a check in is registered. By checking in a certain number of times, or in different locations, users can collect virtual badges. In addition, users...
Created in 2006, Twitter is a global real-time communications platform with 400 million monthly visitors to twitter.com, more than 200 million monthly active users around the world. We see a billion tweets every 2.5 days on every conceivable topic. World leaders, major athletes, star performers, news organizations and entertainment outlets are among the millions of active Twitter accounts through which users can truly get the pulse of the planet.
YouTube provides a platform for you to create, connect and discover the world’s videos. The company recently redesigned the site around its hundreds of millions of channels. Partners from major movie studios, record labels, web original creators, viral stars, and millions more all have channels on YouTube. YouTube is predominantly an ad-supported platform, but also offers rental options for a growing number of movie titles. YouTube was founded in 2005 by Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim, who...
Former game designers Stewart Butterfield and Caterina Fake created Flickr, an online photo sharing network, in 2004. Flickr, which began as a photo-sharing feature of their gaming project, has since then blossomed into one of the premiere photo-sharing sites on the web. Yahoo purchased Flickr for $35 million in March of 2005. Since then Flickr continues to compete with other photo-sharing giant Photobucket.