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Google Recaps 2001 155

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the searches-that-made-the-year dept.
fm6 writes: "Google has suplemented their usual weekly Zeitgeist update with a lovely 2001 Timeline. Particularly interesting to see how the usual queries about celebrities and sports suddenly disappeared in favor of searches about recent event -- although people seem to put Nostradamus in the later category."
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Google Recaps 2001

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  • by wsloand (176072) on Monday December 31, 2001 @10:49AM (#2767282)
    And in other news Slashdot recaps recaps of 2001.
  • CNN? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Adversive (159469)
    Why would you go to Google to look up CNN?
    Doesn't it seem more logical at just type in http://www.cnn.com ?

    Oh yeah. People are stupid.

    • Re:CNN? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by -=Izzy=- (80039)
      People most likely went to google looking for cached versions of the news reports. remember, cnn (and most other news sites) were swamped.
      • Re:CNN? (Score:5, Funny)

        by Adversive (159469) <{adversive} {at} {adversive.net}> on Monday December 31, 2001 @11:06AM (#2767325)
        True. I didn't think about that. But I also think the average Google user doesn't know what cached webpages are anyway.

        In fact, on Sept 11 a co-worker took a screenshot of an MSN Search of "www.cnn.com" which returned no hits.
        And immediately underneath is asked if you wanted to visit similar sites, such as http://www.cnn.com [cnn.com].

        • Re:CNN? (Score:1, Flamebait)

          by LOTR Troll (544929)
          Oh, the average google user is clearly too stupid to click the google cache link right next to the entry. Man are you diluded.
          • How clever of you to have repeat the misspelling of a word you just learned from a passerby

            I'm pretty sure (ok, I guess I'm sure) the statement you're referring to was "the average Google user doesn't know what cached webpages are anyway" ... While the average user's ability to see and even click a link probably does remain, its their knowledge of exactly what they're doing that was ever even questioned...

            I don't think either are delusional, but maybe one of you is a bit dysfunctional... (down boy)

          • by Arlet (29997)
            I just checked my web server logs from the last couple of weeks. Out of 252 request that came from a google search, only 3 came from the google cache (getting the images for the cached pages), and all three were from the same host. I'll admit that this is in no way representative, but it would appear that the most people don't use the cache feature. Since nearly all of my pages have in-line images, which google doesn't cache, I don't think there is a significant number of google cache requests that I didn't see here.
      • Re:CNN? (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Big Dogs Cock (539391)
        Maybe, but there are a lot of genuinely stupid people out there. I've seen people use search engines to find the websites of firms including IBM, Microsoft and all sorts.
      • Re:CNN? (Score:2, Informative)

        by mike.richards (547002)
        I'll probably lose a favorite appendage for this .. but for future reference:
        robots.cnn.com is a wonderfully quick(er) mirror of the original www...
    • Re:CNN? (Score:3, Funny)

      by mccalli (323026)
      Why would you go to Google to look up CNN?

      Perhaps it records 'and' searches too? As in, "cnn impartial wonder source" and "cnn utterly biased coverage" both contribute to the tally for CNN?

      Cheers,
      Ian

      • Re:CNN? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by qweqwe (104866)
        There's also another reason. The google query:
        slashdot site:cnn.com
        gives you different information than a simple CNN search for "slashdot". It tells you the most popular (i.e. most linked to) articles on CNN that refer to slashdot. Often times, this is more important since, as far as the world is concerned, these are the most memorable Slashdot articles.
    • Re:CNN? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by ergo98 (9391)

      I've noticed an odd proliferation of people who seem to associate google with "using the net". i.e. I walked up to the desk of a peer computer professional and told him about a great computer hardware site, to which he pops up google and punches in the URL, following the "uh...do you just want the website?" first link. The only reason he did this was that it's become a habit to him (meaning lots of extra ad impressions for Google).

    • Set yahoo.com as someones homepage and they think that the only way to get anywhere is the search bar.

    • I used to occasionally read through logs of searches for (I believe it was) webcrawler .. and was rather surprised to see how many people searched for sites by their exact address (Which way did he go, George, which way did he go?)
    • Re:CNN? (Score:2, Informative)

      by nob (244898)
      Although it probably only makes up a small percentage of the searches, I know theres a lot of people (mostly webmasters) that will search for CNN over and over to see when the Google index updated. This is because the date is on CNN's page, so you can check the cache to see when the robot grabbed it. Of course, now Google is grabbing the more popular sites daily, so this doesn't work anymore.
    • Oh yeah. People are stupid.
      Ignorance of URL synatx == stupidity? Perhaps you think the world would be a better place if it were ruled by people who'd won the Obfuscated C [ioccc.org] contest. Scary thought that.
    • I noticed that too, then again, almost all the news sites that have names the same as their titles are searched for. What I think is more funny is how many other sites that couldn't have been explained by people looking for cached versions of the site there are: nokia [nokia.com], sony [sony.com], bmw [bmw.com]... and Amazon [amazon.com] for *'s sake! I guess it's good that people are using Google, but how stupid are they, really? And I didn't think bookmarks/shorcuts where that advanced of a concept.
    • Re:CNN? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by joshjs (533522)
      On 9/11, right after the attacks, cnn.com was virtually unreachable. Some people probably didn't understand why.
    • by ChadN (21033)
      I often look up websites through Google because it lists the main site and often the most relevant sublink (ie. downloads, etc.) Also, I find it is QUICKER than just typing (for example) cnn.com into the URL bar and waiting for the browser to do a "smart search", or whatever other dumb feature is enabled on the various browsers I might have to use.

      In short, Google is awesome.
  • Nostradamus (Score:5, Funny)

    by sinserve (455889) on Monday December 31, 2001 @11:01AM (#2767307)
    How unamerican,

    Back in the day, when I was naturalized as a US
    citizen, people had an objective look towards life.

    But after years of CNN, reality TV and Sports entertainment shows;
    i guess they are starting to develop a sixth sense for bullshit.

    Voodoo will determine the outcome of the next election results,
    and maybe, maybe the IRS will take coconut for tax-payment.
    • What's worse is that Brittany Spears was one of the most looked up people. And I thought only cool people used Google...
    • The number 1 man sought for on the Internet was Nostradamus (an alchemist with a reputation of being a prophet, though his predictions are so obscure that hindsight even doesn't help), and the second most sought man on the internet was Osama bin Ladin.

      With all those people searching for Osama bin Ladin, do you think we will find him> ;)
  • by denzo (113290) on Monday December 31, 2001 @11:09AM (#2767329)
    If the "people" are to be trusted, than perhaps a combination of their top picks may mean great commercial success.

    Consider a Harry Potter movie that starred Britney Spears and Nostradamus (hmm, he's dead, we'll have to go with the next choice, Osama Bin Laden as the male lead), with the two remaining Beatles composing the music (which will be simultaneously released on Morpheus), utilizing Windows XP as the OS for the animation effects with the CounterStrike rendering engine. Nokia and Amazon will be major sponsors, with their logos splashed on all attire and walls. CNN will be the primary media outlet for press releases regarding this movie, with tennis star Anna Kournikova doing the reporting.

    If any producers are interested in doing this, give me a call. It'll be just fab, baby!

    • Re:Top Combination (Score:1, Informative)

      by agentZ (210674)
      Just because somebody is dead doesn't mean they can't put him in a major motion picture [imdb.com].
      • Just because somebody is dead doesn't mean they can't put him in a major motion picture [imdb.com].
        Unfortunately, all prior footage and photo stills of Nostradamus in our archive vault has deteriorated too much to be useful for digital recreation.

        At least if Osama dies before the movie is made, he's given us plenty of footage to go on! And we still have five more live people left on the Top 10 list, so not to worry!

        • So put someone in the movie who you claim is Nostradamus.; It ain't like any of us know what the hell he looks like anyway..
          • Perhaps this movie venture was doomed to fail, anyway. Upon further consideration, it looks like our researchers have run into the crux of the problem with our male lead role. They carefully analysed the name of Nostradamus to reveal that is sounds like:

            "No stars, damn us."

            Thank you for your interest in this venture. We hope to offer other options for "popularity" movies. In the meantime, have a happy new year.

            -- Faux Director of "Oops, I'm Harry Potter Again XP in Amazon/Nikon Studio for Release by CNN with Anna Kournikova".

            (maybe we should have gone with a shorter title, anyway)

    • ...CounterStrike rendering engine


      Not to be a big prude but CounterStrike doesn't have it's own rendering engine. Contrary to popular belief, CS is not a game, but a modification to Half Life that happens to be more popular than most games -- including Half Life.

    • Its a movie - its Osama Bin Laden playing Nostradamus, of course.
  • by madmagic (318186) on Monday December 31, 2001 @11:09AM (#2767331) Homepage
    Top Holiday Searches 2001:
    1. christmas
    2. navidad
    3. hanukkah
    4. weihnachtskarten
    5. adventskalender


    Interesting to see that only one of the above five words -- or perhaps two of five, depending on your opinions of hanukkah :) -- is a traditional English language word.

    It's beginning to look a lot more like an international net. Will Cantonese words top the list by '05? '10?

    -Patrick
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 31, 2001 @11:11AM (#2767335)
    Someone needs to remind their graph-maker how many days there are in February...
  • Big Brother (Score:1, Redundant)

    by dolo666 (195584)
    Google timeline... Hey I guess they really do pay attention to the search querries at these engines. Now that they know what we're thinking, will they be forced to act on piracy searches? I wonder if they send the ips out to the government of people looking for stuff they shouldn't be.

    I have a site [gamepsy.com]that gets a lot of traffic from Google because of articles and such, but even writing about warez gets me hits from people looking to get pirated software. What are the ethics here? Does Google or any search engine have to publish the IPs to the government of people looking for stuff they shouldn't be?

    Side note.. I can actually remember searching for a desktop image [google.com] on Google that they have in this Zeitgeist. Creepy.
    • At this point, "looking" for warez is not illegal; using them is, just like looking for information on narcotics is illegal.
    • I think every web site owner who reads their logs faithfully can relate a story of users' being referred to the site through a Google search on something completely unrelated. I remember a while back when an entry I had on Diaryland which said something like "Then my drunk girlfriend and her three drunk apartmentmates stopped by" reached Google, I started getting hits literally DAILY referred by a search on "drunk girls."

      Diarylanders find the phenomenon so amusing that there's now a site dedicated to it: OddGoogle [diaryland.com].
    • Does Google or any search engine have to publish the IPs to the government of people looking for stuff they shouldn't be?

      You do realize that if this happened to be true, the search engine would have to submit thousands -- maybe even millions -- of IP addresses per day, don't you? A task like this is far too much work to be worth it. This is what Carnivore is for.
  • by qweqwe (104866) on Monday December 31, 2001 @11:15AM (#2767344) Homepage
    This part of the "Top 20 Gaining Queries" caught my eye:
    5. anthrax
    6. windows xp
    7. osama bin laden

    So Windows XP is more popular than osama bin laden but not nearly as popular as anthrax.

    Wait 'til the Microsoft Marketing Department gets a hold of this.;-)
  • Tragedies (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Rebel Patriot (540101)
    I find it sad to see how much tragedies shape our lives. Putting September 11 aside for a moment, the Intimidator was the most often searched for object/person in one month. It was a horrible terrible thing to have happened and it seems everyone became fascinated with it to an extent and began searching google for it.

    Add to that September 11th. People again began searching for something that was gone only after it had been destroyed.

    Why can't we as Americans.... as people, appreciated the wonderful things we have before they're gone?
    • It's just that tragedy tends to focus everyone's attention. Most of the time people are using google to search for their varied interests. I think it'd be a greater tragedy if noone had searched for "the Intimidator" when he died. Atleast this shows that they care.

      --
      ecc
  • by eaddict (148006)
    Is a list of everything I searched for all year. It would be neat to for google to allow you to sign-in and record what you are looking for. You need not sign-in if you are looking for something that you don't want recorded.
    • sounds cool but I doubt they would impliment such a data heavy feature, but why not write your own and only search google via your gateway ?
    • ...is a list of everything you searched for all year, available to anyone (spouse, employer, neighbors...). So you'd have to make sure that Google kept your information absolutely secure. Good thing Internet sites have such a stellar reputation for that.

      "In other news, Joe Blow of 327 Maple Street was charged with last year's rape and murder of Jane Doe of Alta Vista. Officials said that the big break in the case came when a subpoena of Google search records for area residents turned up evidence that the terms "rape", "weapons", and "attack" had been used in searches from Blow's home computer. Mr. Blow is being held without bond while police search for additional damning evidence against this psychopathic killer..."

      "Update: Jailed rapist and killer Joe Blow appears to have escaped conviction for his 2000 rape and murder of Alta Vista resident Jane Doe, as after three months of searching, officials have failed to uncover additional evidence from his well-covered trail. The DA's office has sworn that this vicious criminal will not go unpunished, however, since they'e sure they can find something in his Google search records that will indicate some felony involvement in something or other."
      • Interesting thing is, that here in Norway, some of the 'evidence' in a poison murder case was that his web history (Gathered from his OWN computer, thankfully) showed up searches for 'murder', 'Thallium' (a strong poison), 'identify', 'traceability' and 'tissue'.

        The article can be found here [www.vg.no] (Norwegian only)
    • Couldn't you just bookmark the query ?
    • I don't want Google keeping lists of everything I personally have searched for. I'd be less likely to use it. Plus, what's the point? That's something I would expect from a shady .NET operation like MSN, but not Google.
      A better idea would be: I type in a search term, and at at the top of the search results page, I get one of those little graphs showing me the history of the search term I typed in over the past several weeks/months/years. I bet they could do this, or at least provide it as an option, and I think it would have some real usefulness.
    • You could use a browser that remembered form entries and prompted you with their values last time-- it would have much the same effect.
  • I'm kinda curious about the other search engines. I don't really think they would be too different because I also believe most people aren't aware of the cache option on google. I know I really didn't notice it till I became a slashdot regular. (BTW, thanks to all who do point out these goodies to us)
  • by Quizme2000 (323961) on Monday December 31, 2001 @11:28AM (#2767377) Homepage Journal

    1. anna kournikova

    I wonder how many were in the new image search engine [google.com]
  • Loft Story (Score:4, Informative)

    by ^BR (37824) on Monday December 31, 2001 @11:34AM (#2767389)

    Interesting that Loft Story is the more popular TV request. For those who don't know Loft Story was the French version of Big Brother, with only a few variation.

    The funny thing is that we actually got a couple fucking (there was a hottie stripper among the candidate, she eventually won, search for Loana), and if it was not shown on TV, the whole thing eventually leaked as MPEGs on the Internet (filmed in infrared :-)), so all those Loft Story request where really people looking for pr0n...

  • by Bowie J. Poag (16898) on Monday December 31, 2001 @11:35AM (#2767391) Homepage


    This year has been one of the worst years I can remember in my entire life. Good riddance, this year sucked a big one and kept on sucking. Lets have a look at my timeline:

    January: I go into debt.

    February: Work stress piles up, I go further into debt.

    March: The dickhead who was managing PROPAGANDA's SQL database decides to "upgrade" the box and torches damn near a thousand articles. I rebuild from scratch in my spare time with the help of some friends.

    April: A girl gets butchered and raped in the apartment across the walkway from me. I stay until 10:30 or so to see what the news crews have learned, and decide to stay the night over at Ginger's place because I'm too creeped out about the whole thing. I give a taped statement to the police about what I may have heard or seen the night before. I leave, and just as I head out, I see them bringing the body bag out, and see the outline of the girl's head in the bag and damn near throw up. I spend the next week or so living with Ginger until I can get a chance to arrange to move to a new complex.

    May: I move to a new, secure, gated apartment complex. The apartment manager at my old apartment complex refuses to break anyone's lease, and refuses let anyone out. He also refuses to allow anyone to pay off the remainder of their lease. I'm screwed for $3000, and spend the next 6 months paying off two apartments. Hired a lawyer in preparation to sue my former apartment complex to get out of the lease. It doesn't work. I talk to a news crew and light a fire under their ass, that still doesnt work. Ultimately, i'm screwed for three grand, and now carry $1100 a month in rent expenses. Thank god I work at IBM.

    June: I find out my new neighbor at the new apartment complex wears a monitoring bracelet around his ankle. Wonderful. He also wears a two foot long tattoo across his midsection. This kid is 19 years old. Work stress continues as rumors circulate through IBM that contractors are about to get the axe..Myself included.

    July: Laid off. IBM cuts 40% of their workforce here in town. Everyone I know is out of work. The economy tanks hard as the dot-com loser bubble bursts. My convicted-felon neighbor has a screaming argument outside on his balcony. His girlfriend jumps off the third story balcony and ends up being carried out on a stretcher. The police take another statement from me about what I might have heard or seen. They chuckle at my bad luck after I tell them where I lived a few months ago. I figure a piano is going to fall through the ceiling and kill me one of these days.
    August: Mad rush to take shelter in classes at the local college to wait out the storm. Just barely get onboard in time. Word trickles out of IBM that nobody expects to be re-hired until early 2002. Great. Now I have to ask my parents for financial help, and will continue to rely on them for the next 4 months.

    September: Mr. Roger's retires, the world explodes, and Ginger calls me up at 7 in the morning and tells me the World Trade Center is on fire. I watch as another plane hits, and what we thought at the time to be 30 to 40,000 people fall to their deaths on fire and pulverized by concrete. The entire country goes to hell in a handbasket. I can count the number of UNIX-related job openings on one hand. I prepare Ginger for the idea that I may have to move to Colorado to find work. Theres one company up there still hiring.

    October: My car dies...A broken crank shaft that would cost more to repair than the entire vehicle was worth. Now I need to get a new car while paying off two apartments. Thankfully, this is the last month I'll have to pay rent in two different places. The new car costs $5K, and automatically dumps my head in the debt bucket and holds it under the water for the next few months. I start making the rounds of people I may have unjustly skewered over the past year or two with little success.. Whatever jobs were open have all now dried up as the industry tightens its belt and locks the door for the long run. Anthrax, anthrax, anthrax, anthrax, anthrax.

    November: A glimmer of hope. I run into a former coworker at a car wash, and beg her to bring word back that I've been holding out for months waiting to get back on the boat at IBM. More debt, more stress. Thank god I've got Ginger.

    December: Cant go home for Christmas and be with my family because of Osama. Parents don't want me on a plane. Things start to settle down, i'm getting used to the idea of being unemployed. Just as I do, I get a call from a contractor firm that Big Blue as opened its doors. I do backflips and cartwheels and have my name on the dotted line within 45 minutes. The light at the end of the tunnel appears and Dick Clark looks like he's aged alot in the past year.

    Good fucking riddance, 2001. I hope I forget you quickly.

    • Bowie, wow.. im glad im not the only one who has a 2001 horror story.. So much has gone wrong this year both in the world and my personal life.. I too got let go this year, I fell head over feet into debt, lost my roommate, most of my family has fallen ill, had several personal revelations of a most unsettling nature, had to take a job for $6K less than what i was making before, stay miserable, and unfortunately, there still is no end in sight. UNIX jobs in Nashville? There aren't any. My company has me bent over a barrel and they know it.
    • Thank god I've got Ginger.

      When the only thing good in your life is a two-wheeled scooter, you know you're miserable.
  • Hrumph. (Score:1, Funny)

    by LOTR Troll (544929)
    I saw LOTR on the gigantic IMAX screen at the Montreal Famous Player's theatre. Wasn't "Holy Fucking Shit" good (as exclaimed by some /. lusers), but decent. Anyhow, if you're posting here during the New Year's countdown, I pity you.
  • Yes, the 5th of may, but what the hell is "Cindo de Mayo"???
  • A killer feature would be to be able to upload a sample of you hummin or singing a song and have Google make a search for the title of that song :)

  • Why is Britney Spears most searched for?

    Real men look at REAL porn.
  • Pr0n. It would have spanned the entire timeline and really put everything in perspective. Instead, i'll do it.

    Number 1 search on new years day. Pr0n. Valentines day. Pr0n. Mothers day. Pr0n. Fathers day. Pr0n. Fourth of July. Pr0n. All summer. Pr0n. Haloween. Pr0n. Thanksgiving. Pr0n. Every holiday. Pr0n. That's only the important dates too!
  • With all those July searches for Chandra Levy, don't you think SOMEBODY would have found her?
  • by xant (99438)
    With all that searching America did for Chandra Levy, it's amazing that nobody found her. Doesn't reflect well on the quality of Google as a search engine.
  • What I love about them is they gained popularity, the service held like it was before, and heck, look at the start page, do you see load of useless stuff? do you see loads of banner adds, buttons, "options that you never go thru", images, etc? no. They kept it clean, simple, fast to load, and they've managed even to make it cute (noticed how many times the google logo changed since 2 weeks)

    I just hope it will stay that way because THAT'S the way it should be for people like us that wants to get something fast and to the point without having to code an SQL query form in the input search :)

    Kudos to Google.
  • I'm suprised to see the AC-130 in the Top Searches related to the war on terrorism. Its not the most common aircraft and it seems like many people haven't heard of them. It kinda suprised me that they haven't been using any A-10s in the war. I guess that range to target would have cut down a bit on their loiter time since we didn't exactly have any close airfields. Hrmmm...maybe they could make an AC-130 with a GAU-8/A Avenger cannon...heheheh...what impractical fun that could be! :)
  • No way (Score:3, Interesting)

    by _ganja_ (179968) on Monday December 31, 2001 @03:12PM (#2768220) Homepage
    OK, I think this is just made up and not based on seaches at all. I think we all know that if this was based on search engine queries it would look something like this:

    January to December: porn & warez.

    Yet neither school girl wet slut lesbians or crack whore dick suckers gets a look in for the whole year.
    • You'll notice that no section of the Zeitgeist actually describes which things were searched for the most overall - only the top gaining and declining, and the top in each section. That's probably why.
    • Great for media metrix. The stats reports I see, for a number of sites with 1 million+ hits / month, indicate that Google is more popular than all other search engines put together. These sites don't appeal to a particuarly tech-savvy audience either.
  • I'm not sure that I follow the reference to the canidian wireless group at the headers, but the folks at seattlewireless have been talking about this for over a month.

    http://www.seattlewireless.net/index.cgi/Wap11Ha ck
  • ...are people searching for CNN?

    http://www.google.com/press/zeitgeist/9-11-searc h. html
  • In case you didn't know, you can go to Metaspy [metaspy.com] to view searches that are underway on Metafind. I saw a similar link for Google once, but I don't remember where it is. Metafind isn't Google, but its searches show pretty much the same trends this story shows.
  • It's not the Seattle earthquake, it's the Olympia Earthquake [nrcan.gc.ca] :) They were looking for the one broken window in Seattle when Olympia had real damage. [olympia.wa.us] Bleh, get it right =P
  • Shouldn't the "top retailers" section actually be called "retailers with the hardest-to-remember URL's"?
  • Top 10 Sports Queries

    2001

    1. anna kournikova


    Ofcourse. I'm very sure those searches were for the sporting capabilities of Anna Kournikova. The question is, which sport? ;-)
  • America searches for "ellis island" and its roots as the archive of immigration records goes online.

    Awesome...my company hosts that site... ;)

    DennyK

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