Look, I know Farmville is popular. Okay, really popular. Okay, insanely popular. And while it does have plenty of mainstream appeal, I still find it hard to believe that it has controlled two of the top “Hot Searches” items (for the U.S.) all day long on Google. And yet, according to Google Trends, both “farmville.com the game,” and “www.farmville.com the game” are the number two and three hottest search items today, respectively. So what’s going on?
Well, if you click through to the detail page for either of the two queries, the answer appears to reside there. First of all, there are a bunch of borderline spam sites suggesting the game launched today on the website Farmville.com. That’s not true, it has actually been there for several months, using Facebook Connect. But still, that doesn’t appear to be what’s causing the “On Fire” surge. That may be something much more interesting.
It looks like queries are on fire because Google is tying in searches for “republicans” and “what is in the health care bill” to these Farmville searches, for some unknown reason. Both of those queries appear in the “Related searches” area for both of those Farmville queries. Seeing as just about all anyone in the United States is talking about is the House’s passing of the new health care bill, and the strong Republican opposition to it, it’s no wonder these queries are exploding.
Meanwhile, according to Google Trends, “health reform bill summary” is only the 14th most popular search, just behind “chris johnson s car.“
At this point, we’re going to assume this is simply a Google mix-up and not some type of 4chan-style gaming of Google. But if anyone has more info, feel free to leave it in the comments or send it in: tips [at] techcrunch.com.
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...
FarmVille is the hit social game from Zynga that allows users to build better farms, accruing experience and gaining prestige amongst their peers. Farmville launched as a Facebook platform application and then launched a standalone site that uses Facebook.