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The High Five: this week’s trends have a sweet tooth

A celebrity baby on the way, a sidelined NBA player, and ice cream for dessert: here’s a look at the week’s top-searched trends, with data from the Google News Lab.


Sing us a lullaby, you’re the Piano Man

Search interest in “Billy Joel age” went up nearly 8,000 percent this week after it was announced that the 68-year-old musician and his wife Alexis are expecting a child. Age was top of mind in the other searches as well: people asked “How old is Billy Joel’s wife?” and “How old is Billy Joel’s daughter?” as well as “How many children does Billy Joel have?”


I scream, you scream, we all search for the Museum of Ice Cream

After it it was reported that sprinkles from San Francisco’s Museum of Ice Cream (the interactive, social media-friendly art installation that’s already swept Los Angeles) have been found all around the city, search interest in “Museum of Ice Cream” rose nearly 5,00 percent. People are searching for the scoop: “How much are Museum of Ice Cream tickets?” “Who created the Museum of Ice Cream?” and “How to start something like the Museum of Ice Cream?” (Apparently it takes a lot of sprinkles.) And while we’re dishing out the ice cream trends ... the top-searched types of ice cream this week were “rolled ice cream,” “mochi ice cream,” and “vegan ice cream.”


NBA season tips off

After Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward fell to the floor with a fractured tibia and dislocated ankle on Wednesday (the first night of the NBA season), people searched: “How long will Gordon Hayward be out?” “How long does a fractured ankle take to heal?” and “How long is Gordon Hayward’s contract with the Celtics?” After the injury, search interest in Gordon Hayward shot up nearly 52,000 percent—making him the most searched NBA player on opening night (followed by LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Steph Curry).


Let them eat (10-foot) cake

Rapper Gucci Mane had an extravagant wedding this week, and the highlight was a 10-foot-tall $75,000 cake, prompting people to search: “How much was Gucci Mane’s wedding?” “Where was Gucci Mane’s wedding?” and “Who was at Gucci Mane’s wedding?” (Hopefully enough people to eat all that cake.) While the decadent dessert may have raised questions about the rapper’s fortune, interest in “Gucci Mane wedding” was searched 2.5 times more than “Gucci Mane net worth.”


I’m feeling spooky

In the weeks leading up to Halloween, some have existential questions about the holiday (the top searched question was ”Why do people wear costumes for Halloween?”), while others are focused on finding the perfect costume: “What should I be for Halloween?” “How to make a Halloween costume?” and “What is the most popular Halloween costume?” We’ve got the last question covered—Google’s Frightgeist can tell you what people around the country or in your own hometown are searching for this Halloween.

Source: Search


Siempre Selena

My love of music started with Selena Quintanilla. One of my dearest childhood memories is of my mom and I belting her classics like “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom” and “Techno Cumbia” in the family van during our annual road trips to Mexico. But Selena’s influence in my life goes so much further than that.

I’m the daughter of a Mexican immigrant single mother and grew up in a small, primarily white town in rural Texas. Selena taught me that being Latina was a powerful thing, and that with hard work and focus, I could do whatever I set my mind to. She showed me that my hybrid cultural identity was a valuable gift I should embrace. Watching her made me proud to be Mexicana.

Today we celebrate Selena’s legacy with a Google Doodle. Set to her iconic song (and my roadtrip favorite jam) “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom,” today’s Doodle follows Selena’s early life through the milestones that solidify her legacy as “The Queen of Tejano” and one of the most successful and iconic Mexican-American entertainers of all time.

Celebrating Selena Quintanilla

She released “Selena,” her first studio album with Capitol EMI, on this day in 1989. Among many notable accomplishments throughout her career, she consistently stayed at the top of the billboard charts, and won a Grammy for best Mexican-American album of 1993—making her the first female and youngest Tejano artist to win the award. But she was much more than a talented musician and entertainer. A fashionista and trendsetter, she often designed and created entire outfits for her performance wardrobe. In her free time, she was active in community service, and a strong advocate for education.

heyyy

Above all, Selena is a beacon of inspiration and hope for Latinx, immigrant, and bicultural communities around the globe. By embracing and celebrating all parts of her cultural heritage and persevering in the face of adversity, she forged an emotional connection with millions.

In addition to today’s Doodle, we partnered with the Quintanilla family and The Selena Museum to create a new Google Arts & Culture exhibit in honor of Selena. In the experience, you can tour beautiful high-resolution imagery of some of her most prized possessions, including iconic outfits, her first Grammy, her favorite car, and artwork from her adoring fans. We were also honored to host Suzette Quintanilla, Selena’s sister, for a Talk at Google last week, which you can check out here.

cultural

So thank you, Selena, for being a role model and a hero to a little Latina girl in Granbury, TX and to countless others. And thank you for all the inspiration and joy your music and legacy continues to bring to the world.

Source: Search


Supporting those affected by the California fires

Fueled by high winds, fast-moving wildfires in the California wine country and the Anaheim Hills have spread quickly—killing dozens, damaging tens of thousands of acres, destroying infrastructure, forcing evacuations, and leaving hundreds of people unaccounted for.


Like many people in the Bay Area, my first news of the North Bay fires was the smell of smoke Monday morning. My thoughts immediately turned to my family and childhood home in Santa Rosa. My family was safe, but I raced up to Petaluma to see how I could help. In addition to needed resources on the ground, I saw how centralized information can be crucial to help people find shelter and other resources.

SOS Alerts and Fire Information

On Monday, the Crisis Response team launched an SOS Alert—a set of features in Google Search and Maps that helps you quickly understand what’s going on and decide what to do during a crisis. After launching the Alert, the Crisis Response team created a Crisis Map with shelter locations, vacancy status, pet accommodations and shelter needs, crowdsourced via waze.com, local volunteers, and Googlers such as myself. The map has been updated to include recent satellite imagery for the North Bay area as well.
alerts

In addition to these map-based resources, the team has pushed out air-quality resources via Google Feed, with information from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District and American Lung association.

ca fires

$1 million for fire relief and recovery

To help with the relief and recovery in California, Google.org and Googlers are committing $1 million in donations to organizations that are providing critical resources in the affected regions. To support immediate needs, we’re distributing funds to the Redwood Empire Food Bank and the Red Cross. We’re also supporting the Napa Valley Community Foundation, the Community Foundation Sonoma County, and the Latino Community Foundation, which are coordinating the longer-term fire recovery initiatives.


Google.org will support these organizations and others to identify ways Google volunteers can bring value to the affected areas. Right now, we’re in discussions with the Information Technology Disaster Resource Center and have sent a team of technical Googler volunteers to assess the connectivity needs of first responders and evacuees.


Efforts on the ground

Google Express is also providing in-kind donations of ready-to-eat, non-perishable foods to benefit the Redwood Empire Food Bank. And Google’s food team will partner with Off the Grid to provide more than 25,000 meals via food trucks to Napa and Sonoma County shelters over the next month.


My hometown of Santa Rosa is one of many that has been devastated, and the fires are still active in Northern California and the Anaheim Hills. As the situation progresses, Google will continue to update the Crisis Map and SOS alerts to help deliver the most up-to-date information available. My thoughts are with the North Bay community and others that have been impacted by recent natural disasters around the world.

Source: Search


The High Five: top search trends this week

Here are a few of the week’s most searched trends, with data from the Google News Lab.  


California wildfires

On Sunday night, devastating wildfires began in Sonoma and other parts of California, causing tens of thousands of people to evacuate and killing at least 30. While emergency responders are still working to contain the fires, people searched for more information: “Where are the California wildfires?” “When did the California wildfires start?” and “What areas of California are affected by the wildfires?” Top searches related specifically to wildfire were “How to stop wildfires, “How to help California wildfire victims,” and “How to deal with wildfire smoke.” Searches in California for “air quality” increased 2,200 percent this week.


Harvey Weinstein

“Who is Harvey Weinstein?” was a top searched question this week, after an overwhelming number of women in Hollywood spoke out against the Hollywood producer, sharing their stories of assault and harassment. Of the women who went public, Rose McGowan, Asia Argento, Ashley Judd and Ambra Battilana Gutierrez were the most searched.


Now free to roam the islands

Southwest Airlines announced this week that it’s expanding its service to Hawaii starting in 2018. Those who “Wanna Get Away” are searching, “When does the Southwest sale end?” “How often does Southwest have sales?” and “When does Southwest start flying to Hawaii?” Planning their next vacation, the states searching the most for Southwest Airlines this week were Nevada, Arizona and Colorado.


Kicked out

On Tuesday the U.S. Men’s National Soccer team lost to Trinidad and Tobago and failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup tournament. Search interest in U.S. Men’s Soccer spiked by 480 percent on the day of the defeat, and the most searched teams this week were from Argentina, the U.S. and Ecuador. Soccer fans searched to find out how and where to watch the U.S. vs Trinidad and Tobago game, as well as “What happened to the US men’s soccer team?”

 

Bundle up

Pizza Hut is adding a topper to your winter outfit with its new Pizza Parka, a real jacket made of the same materials as their new pizza pie delivery pouch. Pizza lovers must know “How to win a Pizza Hut parka,” “How to purchase a Pizza Hut parka” and “How much is Pizza Hut’s parka?” If this put you in the mood for pizza, we can deliver—the most-searched pizza toppings this week were chicken, pepperoni, tomato, sausage and garlic.

Source: Search


The High Five: what people are searching this week

Every week, we share a glimpse of what people are searching for on Google, with data from the Google News Lab. Here are a few of this week's top trends:  

Las Vegas

Many are still coming to terms with the tragic Las Vegas shooting that claimed the lives of 59 people and injured hundreds more. A few of the most-searched questions about the shooting were “What gun was used in the Las Vegas shooting?” “How long did the Las Vegas shooting last?” and “How many people died in the Las Vegas shooting?” After the shooting occurred, search interest in “gun control” went up more than 3000 percent, compared to the previous week.

Saying goodbye to a legend

Iconic guitarist Tom Petty passed away this week. When the news broke, people searched “Is Tom Petty really dead?” “How old was Tom Petty?” and “Why did Tom Petty die?” Meanwhile, search interest in “Tom Petty songs” reached an all-time high. On the day of his death, the artist’s most searched songs were “Free Fallin,’” “Wildflowers,” “American Girl,” “I Won’t Back Down,” and “Home.”

Give the people what they want

McDonald’s is bringing back its famed szechuan sauce—originally introduced for a limited time in 1998—after it was the subject of a “Rick and Morty” episode back in April. Fans of the show and the sauce are searching “Which McDonald’s have szechuan sauce?” “When does szechuan sauce come back?” and “Is szechuan sauce good?” Search interest in Rick and Morty’s “‘Szechuan sauce episode” dipped 780 percent lower than “Szechuan sauce locations.” Other top searched dipping sauces from McDonald’s include honey mustard, Sriracha Mac Sauce and spicy buffalo.

Not loving this one

“Love is not an ingredient.” This was a top search this week, and apparently the FDA agrees. They told a bakery in Massachusetts to remove “love” from its list of ingredients in a popular brand of bread for fear of “deceptive labeling.” Love may not be allowed on the ingredient label,  but other top trending ingredients this week were szechuan sauce (thanks, McDonald’s), mooncake ingredients, shepherd’s pie ingredients, and Hollandaise ingredients.

Sky aglow

This Thursday marked the first October Harvest Moon since 2009, and the next one is predicted to reappear in 2020. People searched to find out when the October Harvest Moon was happening, how to see it and “what planets are surrounding the October Harvest Moon?” The top regions searching for October Harvest Moon were Maine, Rhode Island and Oregon.

Source: Search


Driving the future of digital subscriptions

Journalism provides accurate and timely information when it matters most, shaping our understanding of important issues and pushing us to learn more in search of the truth. People come to Google looking for high-quality content, and our job is to help them find it. However, sometimes that content is behind a paywall.

While research has shown that people are becoming more accustomed to paying for news, the sometimes painful process of signing up for a subscription can be a turn off. That’s not great for users or for news publishers who see subscriptions as an increasingly important source of revenue.

To address these problems we’ve been talking to news publishers about how to support their subscription businesses with a focus on the following:

  • First, Flexible Sampling will replace First Click Free. Publishers are in the best position to determine what level of free sampling works best for them. So as of this week, we are ending the First Click Free policy, which required publishers to provide a minimum of three free articles per day via Google Search and Google News before people were shown a paywall.
  • Longer term, we are building a suite of products and services to help news publishers reach new audiences, drive subscriptions and grow revenue.
  • We are also looking at how we can simplify the purchase process and make it easy for Google users to get the full value of their subscriptions across Google’s platforms.

Our goal is to make subscriptions work seamlessly everywhere, for everyone.

First Click Free

We will end our First Click Free policy in favor of a Flexible Sampling model where publishers will decide how many, if any, free articles they want to provide to potential subscribers based on their own business strategies. This move is informed by our own research, publisher feedback, and months-long experiments with the New York Times and the Financial Times, both of which operate successful subscription services.  

"Google's decision to let publishers determine how much content readers can sample from search is a positive development,” said Kinsey Wilson, an adviser to New York Times CEO Mark Thompson. "We're encouraged as well by Google's willingness to consider other ways of supporting subscription business models and we are looking forward to continuing to work with them to craft smart solutions."

Publishers generally recognize that giving people access to some free content is the way to persuade people to buy their product. The typical approach to sampling is a model called metering, which lets people see a pre-determined number of free stories before a paywall kicks in. We recommend the following approach:

  • Monthly, rather than daily, metering allows publishers more flexibility to experiment with the number of free stories to offer people and to target those more likely to subscribe.
  • For most publishers, 10 articles per month is a good starting point.
  • Please see our Webmaster blog and our guide on Flexible Sampling for more detail on these approaches.

“Try before you buy” underlines what many publishers already know—they need to provide some form of free sampling to be successful on the internet. If it’s too little, then fewer users will click on links to that content or share it, which could have an effect on brand discovery and subsequently may affect traffic over time.

Subscription support

Subscribing to great content should not be as hard as it is today. Registering on a site, creating and remembering multiple passwords, and entering credit card information—these are all hassles we hope to solve.

As a first step we’re taking advantage of our existing identity and payment technologies to help people subscribe on a publication’s website with a single click, and then seamlessly access that content anywhere— whether it’s on that publisher site or mobile app, or on Google Newsstand, Google Search or Google News.

And since news products and subscription models vary widely, we’re collaborating with publishers around the world on how to build a subscription mechanism that can meet the needs of a diverse array of approaches—to the benefit of the news industry and consumers alike.  

We’re also exploring how Google’s machine learning capabilities can help publishers recognize potential subscribers and present the right offer to the right audience at the right time.

“It's extremely clear that advertising alone can no longer pay for the production and distribution of high quality journalism—and at the same time the societal need for sustainable independent journalism has never been greater.  Reader-based revenue, aka paid-content, or subscription services, are therefore not just a nice-to-have, but an essential component of a publisher's revenue composition,” said Jon Slade, FT Chief Commercial Officer.

“The Financial Times is welcoming of Google's input and actions to help this critical sector of the media industry, and we've worked very closely with Google to aid understanding of the needs that publishers have and how Google can help. That mutual understanding includes the ability to set controls over the amount of free content given to readers, a level playing field for content discovery, optimised promotion and payment processes. It is important that we now build and accelerate on the discussions and actions to date.”  

We are just getting started and want to get as much input from publishers—large, small, national, local, international—to make sure we build solutions together that work for everyone.  

Source: Search


The High Five: insights on the top search trends of the week

This week people searched for free coffee, the death of a media mogul, help with IKEA tasks and new wheels from Ford. And as Puerto Rico reels from the devastation of Hurricane Maria, people want to know how they can help. Here are the top trends of the week, with data from Google News Lab.

Hurricane Maria

Puerto Rico continues to grapple with the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, which left many without power and desperate for food, electricity and communication services. People in the U.S. continue to search for “hurricane donation” (interest went up 185% this week), as well as “How powerful was Hurricane Maria?” “How to donate to Puerto Rico” and “What is the Jones Act?” (A law that was waived to get relief to Puerto Rico quicker). The top regions searching for Puerto Rico were Florida, Connecticut and New Jersey.

Caffeine fiends

Wake up and smell the coffee—it’s National Coffee Day! And everyone is after the free java, with searches like, “Is Starbucks doing anything for National Coffee Day?” “Who gives free coffee on National Coffee Day?” and “What is National Coffee Day at Dunkin Donuts?” Cold brew coffee, butter coffee, and Irish coffee (for those starting early…) are the most searched types of coffee this week.

RIP Hef

Hugh Hefner passed away this week at the age of 91. Upon hearing the news, people searched to find out more about Hefner’s fortune and infamous love life: “How much was Hugh Hefner worth?” “Who gets Hugh Hefner’s money?” and “Who was Hugh Hefner married to?” Hefner will be buried next to Marilyn Monroe, Playboy’s first cover girl (search interest in Monroe went up 570% this week as well).

But will they assemble the meatballs, too?

This week, two of the top searched questions about IKEA were: “How to build IKEA Tarva nightstand” and “How to remove IKEA drawer front.” Well, now you can get some help with that. This week, IKEA closed a deal to buy the online errand company TaskRabbit so that the dreaded phrase “assembly required” will become slightly less scary. Those who are keen on IKEA are searching the most for dressers, desks, rugs, kitchen cabinets and beds.

Riding in style

Ford is getting revved up with its new F-450 Super Duty Limited truck, which can cost as much as $100,000 and tows 15 tons … talk about luxury. Search interest for the new truck went into overdrive—“Ford Truck” was searched 2000% more than “Ford SUV.” People are doing their due diligence on the Super Duty, searching “Where is the F-250 Super Duty made?” “What is the MPG of a Ford Super Duty Diesel?” and “What roof bars fit a Ford Super Duty?”

Source: Search


Providing support to those affected by Hurricane Maria

Hurricane Maria recently made landfall in Puerto Rico as a Category 4 hurricane, killing at least 10 people and leaving much of the island without power or water. Elsewhere in the Caribbean, millions more are looking to rebuild—the storm destroyed the island of Dominica, killing at least 15 people, and devastated the Dominican Republic, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Turks and Caicos.

I was born and raised outside of San Juan, in a town called Cupey, and left the island to study in the States. Today, I still have family there, as well as in Barranquitas, towards the center of the island. The roof broke off my grandmother's terrace, a place filled with many memories of family gatherings growing up. My uncles, who are agricultural entrepreneurs in Barranquitas, were able to visit their land just yesterday and see the damage caused to their crops, completely turning their business upside down. I'm lucky that my family members are all safe, but the damage will still take years to repair.

To help with the relief and recovery in Puerto Rico and beyond, Google.org and Googlers are committing $1 million in donations to organizations that are providing critical resources to the affected regions. To support immediate humanitarian needs, we’re distributing funds to organizations including the Red Cross, World Food Program, and UNICEF. We’re also supporting NetHope, which provides Internet access in the wake of natural disasters around the world, because connectivity can be a critical link in providing basic needs like food, water and medical care. This month has taxed the resources of first responder agencies across the region, and we want to make sure nonprofits like NetHope have the resources they need to respond to Hurricane Maria. We’ve also had a small team of engineers volunteer in the wake of recent Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, to help restore connectivity by setting up hot-spots and assisting with other technical needs that local nonprofits and shelters may have. We’re working with NetHope to find ways that our technical volunteers can be most helpful in Puerto Rico as well.

Crisis Response and SOS Alerts

In times of crises, having access to timely safety information can be critical. Ahead of the storm, Google’s Crisis Response team launched SOS Alerts for Hurricane Maria. Although few people have connectivity in the storm’s wake, we’ve continued to update the alert with information on power outages, emergency information contacts, the damage to the Guajataca dam, and crisis maps in both English and Spanish. Those outside of the region can also find the latest news and information, as well as an easy way to donate to relief efforts, directly through Search.

As the 2017 hurricane season has pummeled the U.S. and the Caribbean, Google.org, Google employees and the public have collectively donated $7 million for relief efforts in the areas affected by Harvey, Irma and Maria. My thoughts are with everyone in Puerto Rico and other affected areas, and it gives me solace to know that my colleagues and company are doing everything they can to help.

Source: Search


The High Five: Searching to help Mexico City and other top trends this week

Each week, we take a look at the most-searched trends (with help and data from the team at Google News Lab). Here are a few top trends from this week:

Mexico City earthquake

A fatal earthquake rocked Mexico City this week, and people turned to Google to find out how they can aid the recovery. Two of the top questions in the U.S. were “What fault line is Mexico City on?” and “Where to donate for the earthquake in Mexico?” Those questions were both in the top five searched questions in Mexico City as well, along with “What is needed in the shelters?” and “Where is the school that collapsed from the earthquake?”

From court to screen

Wednesday marked the anniversary of the famed tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs, and starting today, Emma Stone and Steve Carell portray them on the big screen. The release caused a racket in Search: Interest in “women’s tennis” spiked 140 percent higher than “men’s tennis.” (Game.) Billie Jean King was searched 230 percent more than Bobby Riggs. (Set.) And interest in Emma Stone was 290 percent higher than Steve Carell (match!).

Demagor-gone searching

One a scale from one to Eleven, how excited are you for “Stranger Things” season two? Unless you’ve been trapped in the Upside Down, you know that the show is coming back soon. We’ll help you out with a few of the top-searched questions this week: “When is season 2 of Stranger Things coming out?” (October 27), “Who went missing on Stranger Things?” (RIP Barb), and “How many Emmys did Stranger Things win?” (Zero.) It may have lost to “Handmaid’s Tale” at the Emmy’s, but it’s spooking the competition in other ways—“Stranger Things costume” was searched 1,040 percent more than “Handmaid’s Tale costume” in the last week. There’s only a few weeks to go, so get your Eggos ready.

Will it be a Graceful comeback?

Fans thought they said goodbye to “Will & Grace” in 2006 but now they’re searching, “What time will Will & Grace be on Hulu?” That’s right, the beloved NBC series is making a comeback on Hulu next week (all one hundred and ninety four episodes are now on Hulu as well). Other popular questions include, “How many episodes are there in Will & Grace season 1?” and “Is Leslie Jordan returning to the Will & Grace reboot?” (Karen Walker isn’t happy about that one.) There are a lot of “Will & Grace” lovers in Rhode Island, Iowa and North Dakota, the states that searched the most for the show this week.

Flu fighters

Flu season is around the corner, and people are aching to learn more. Search was congested with lots of queries, but the top ones were: “How long is a flu shot good for?” “How bad is flu season this year?” and “How to stay healthy during flu season? People are searching the most for “stomach flu,” followed by “keto flu.” Top regions searching for “flu season” were Delaware, North Carolina and Louisiana.

Source: Search


Search and discover with the Google app for iOS

Not all journeys have a destination. Whether browsing the web or looking for answers, the latest update to the Google app on iOS helps you keep exploring.

Starting today, while you’re reading a webpage on the Google app for iOS, you’ll see suggestions for related content when you pull up the bottom of the page—no need to type anything into the search box to learn more. Suppose you’ve just finished reading an introductory article about the Mars rover. When you start scrolling back up, you’ll see additional articles on this topic that may interest you, like upcoming Mars missions or an in-depth story about the rover exploring a gully that might’ve contained water. Alternatively, if you’re reading a recipe for roasting shishito peppers, you’ll be able to jump straight to other ways to prepare them, such as grilling them, with a single tap.

eocharsh

Maybe you’re learning how to cross-stitch, reading up on medieval history, or just looking for good gift ideas—whatever the situation, this new feature makes it easy to explore and discover content while browsing the web.

While this feature is only currently available in the U.S., we look forward to expanding to more languages and locales soon. To get started, get the latest version of the Google app and then search away!

Source: Search