Friday, May 12, 2006

Trends in Highland Places

The new Google Trends tool shows the popularity of different search terms over the last couple of years, and the most-referenced news stories mentioning those terms. Even better, one can compare the popularity of up to five terms by plugging in a comma-separated list.

Since genealogy is (dubious sources say) the second-most-popular topic on the Internet, I typed in "genealogy,sex" to see how those terms stacked up against each other. Not surprisingly, "sex" mopped the floor with "genealogy." What did surprise me was this graph, which suggests that Aberdeen, Scotland, is the only city in the world whose residents seek genealogy more often than sex:

This can be explained in one of two ways: either Aberdonians have not been told there is sex on the Internet; or they get their sex the old fashioned way—through the mail.

Come to think of it, there is a third possible explanation: "genealogy" may be Scottish slang for "sex."

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