Using Google Trends to predict results on reality TV shows

by on December 24, 2008

We live in an age of bubble gum TV. There are no great shows anymore, rather just a variety of annoying people with cameras stuck in their faces. But from a search perspective, is it possible to make a few quid from these shows. Can we predict the winner by looking at what Google tells us?

Let’s take the Factor this year. Obviously I didn’t watch any of this show at the time, so all this information is from hours of research :)

The four finalists were Alexandra Burke, JLS, Eoghan Quigg and Diana Vickers. Since the live shows only started around October (I think). Then using Google trends we can take a look at who was generating interest from the start.

From looking at Google Trends we see that the main interest online was for Diana Vickers and JLS. It would seem JLS were generating the most online interest, with Eoghan Quigg and Alexandra Burke lagging behind. Actually if we were to go by online interest, Alexandra Burke would not have made the live final.

Google Trends also lets you segment that data down into regions. Looking where the support came for JLS, we see the following:

The final two contestants in the show were Alexandra Burke and JLS. If we go look on Google Insights:

We see that JLS were on top going into the final show. But perhaps it really is a case that people made their mind up on the night and the search results counted for little.

Looking at the breakout terms from Google insights:

We see that most searches are now for Alexandra Burke. What’s interesting is the search for “beyonce alexandra burke”. It would appear this is one of the most popular searches around “Alexandra burke”. This was a live performance done on the night of the final. On the same token, there were no searches for the JLS performance with Westlife. Did this make the difference on the night?

Who knows but on the next reality TV show that involves audience votes be sure to take a sneaky peak at these tools.

Of course on a higher level these tools can tell you a lot about a product you may be looking to launch and where interest may exist for this product. This is good information to have for a geo targeted PPC campaign etc.

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