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Draw a penis and Google will correlate that to "fabulous myspace"
September 2, 2011 12:03 PM   Subscribe

Google has a fabulous new(-ish) tool called Correlate where you can draw lines on an empty graph and Google will try to find search trends that match. You can find some really interesting curves by dicking around this way. For example, searches for "how to write a resume for a job" go through the roof from 2008 to today. Also, it turns out that people tend to google "work out equipment" around the holiday season.

This comes via Reddit, where users have found some pretty interesting correlations.
posted by Zero Gravitas (49 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite

 
Interestingly, I drew a shark fin and it brought up several different banks.

Also, there goes the rest of my productivity for this afternoon.
posted by BigHeartedGuy at 12:07 PM on September 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


I can't begin to imagine how I could ever use this in any practical way, but damned if it isn't addictive to play with.
posted by jbickers at 12:07 PM on September 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Let me just say "Ouch" for MySpace and Windows Mobile.
posted by yerfatma at 12:14 PM on September 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


I drew Metafilter and it gave me "att text message".

I think we all know what that means!
posted by blue_beetle at 12:15 PM on September 2, 2011


Apparently yeast infections, "miniture pinchers," and the lyrics to "Semi-Charmed Life" all floated to the top of the collective unconscious in the summer of 2010.
posted by Iridic at 12:16 PM on September 2, 2011


I tried to make it say "midterm elections" and I got "not your fault."
posted by escabeche at 12:17 PM on September 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


I've been trying to find an example of a result that looks vaguely like the correlated search term. So far the closest I've gotten is a curve that yields "crest whitestrips premium plus" and looks kinda-sorta like a whitening strip for the bottom row of teeth (which is actually the top strip in that picture).
posted by jedicus at 12:23 PM on September 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Can we import some of our Line Rider sets? Because that would be cool.
posted by Old'n'Busted at 12:26 PM on September 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Google Correlate confirms: The Web is dying.
posted by 0xFCAF at 12:29 PM on September 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'd like to see musical notes, and songs, mapped to this grid.
posted by darth_tedious at 12:29 PM on September 2, 2011


There's a weird correlation between women with ribcage tattoos and C Section recovery timeline. I can only hope they had to wait long enough for the ribcage tattoo fad to die off.
posted by Gary at 12:30 PM on September 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, workout equipment around the holiday season isn't that surprising, since January is prime time for gym memberships.
posted by antifuse at 12:31 PM on September 2, 2011


Neat, you can upload your own data too.
posted by antifuse at 12:33 PM on September 2, 2011


Google Correlate confirms: The Web is dying.

So is Japanese, apparently.
posted by theodolite at 12:33 PM on September 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


I decided to risk clicking through to see the results for women with ribcage tattoos, and was disappointed to find out that this is not a fad where women have tattoos of rib cages.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:39 PM on September 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Huh, so I drew some random up and down curves, but fairly unintentionally put in a three year cycle and got "lectionary year A," which make sense.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 12:41 PM on September 2, 2011


My first result was porn. I am shocked.
posted by 517 at 12:41 PM on September 2, 2011


I drew a pair-of-boobs-shaped curve and it correlated with "good shit". This is correct.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 12:44 PM on September 2, 2011


Drawing a downward-sloping diagonal from corner to corner brings up searches related to "Dell", "Windows," and "Wolfenstein."
posted by obscurator at 12:48 PM on September 2, 2011


The death of Billy Mays blips hard across the internet......and is silent.
posted by otolith at 12:51 PM on September 2, 2011


Next I drew something looking like a hand giving the finger. It correlated strongly with "Cingular Customer Service Number". This is also correct.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 1:01 PM on September 2, 2011


If I sign my own name:

0.6717bookworm
0.6657lyrics smile empty soul
0.6543guernica lyrics
0.6513smile empty soul
0.6512empty soul
0.6490amsterdam lyrics
0.6490smile empty soul lyrics
0.6488smile empty
0.6470houston lyrics
posted by Shepherd at 1:06 PM on September 2, 2011


You know what I'd like -- a chart of (how much time Google has saved me) - (how much time Google has cost me with tools/toys like this)?

We're nowhere approaching zero, but today has taken quite a slope down along with Pac-Man logo day and Google+ opening week -- though nothing beats when the image labeler "game" first came out though.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:10 PM on September 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


5 of the top 10 correlations are myspace related.
posted by callmejay at 1:17 PM on September 2, 2011


I fell a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of statisticians suddenly cried out that a high correlation does not imply causation, yet with this tool management had them suddenly silenced.

Of course, I'm about to blow a hole in an initiative at work using this, namely backfeeding in some search terms and get out some unrelated search terms that are highly correlated. Ah coffee makers and toy trains. You shall make tuesday entertaining when everyone gets to play with this....
posted by Nanukthedog at 1:19 PM on September 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Do people just really search for lyrics a lot, in some sort of cyclical manner? Lyrics searches come up in a lot of these for me.
posted by antifuse at 1:25 PM on September 2, 2011


My attempt to identify current trends had alarming results.
posted by Rinku at 1:25 PM on September 2, 2011


So much for wav files.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 1:44 PM on September 2, 2011


corrected link
posted by mr_crash_davis at 1:45 PM on September 2, 2011


Beyonce's songs have the perfect regularity of a pulsar.
posted by Avenger at 1:50 PM on September 2, 2011


I fell a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of statisticians suddenly cried out that a high correlation does not imply causation, yet with this tool management had them suddenly silenced.

Yeah, i drew this line and then MySpace EXPLODED!
posted by GuyZero at 1:51 PM on September 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Annual square waves are fun to play with. Draw a square wave straddling the year boundaries, you get ice fishing searches. Shift it over a bit, it's all prom dresses; a bit more, and it's baseball & golf... a bit more, holiday recipes....

You can also type a search in and see its popularity over time. In related news, I may have found an explanation for Seasonal Affective Disorder.
posted by richyoung at 2:43 PM on September 2, 2011


Aw, google so cute. "Love" is well correlated with a number of restaurant searches (and it's on the rise).

Fire ants has an awesome summer bias. Other scientific topics I searched for were generally on the decline = /.

Oh, and can anyone tell me what major metafilter events happened in early 2004 and late 2007? http://www.google.com/trends/correlate/search?e=metafilter&t=weekly
posted by Buckt at 2:52 PM on September 2, 2011


This is great! For some good nerdy fun, try drawing your favorite function. I've been having fun drawing functions like sine waves of varying periods and funky sums of Dirac delta functions. (I have yet to see anything that accurately correlates to the sum of only two Dirac delta functions.)

I'm considering getting some of my spectral data that I've run on various molecules I've synthesized and seeing if they correlate to anything...
posted by thermopoetics at 3:21 PM on September 2, 2011


It's fun to take random signals like number of helpdesk tickets and run correlate. I wonder if we built a signal out of paper submissions from a large class, whether we'd find people googling for citations.
posted by pwnguin at 3:40 PM on September 2, 2011


I drew a straight line representing my age and it turns out "music blogs" are making me old. Google knows!
posted by adamt at 5:53 PM on September 2, 2011


I got "thong of the day" :(
posted by stratastar at 6:24 PM on September 2, 2011


Annual square waves are fun to play with. Draw a square wave straddling the year boundaries, you get ice fishing searches. Shift it over a bit, it's all prom dresses; a bit more, and it's baseball & golf... a bit more, holiday recipes....

Try hurricane! A peak every first or second week of August...
posted by artifarce at 6:40 PM on September 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


I love how popular rain and hipster are in the Pacific NW. (Though I cannot explain why the latter is correlated with "wild beasts.")
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 6:54 PM on September 2, 2011


"white poop in adults"?????
posted by jcworth at 7:26 PM on September 2, 2011


I can't begin to imagine how I could ever use this in any practical way, but damned if it isn't addictive to play with.

Well, if I owned an indoor soccer complex I guess I would take out a bunch of Google ads around the first of the year.
posted by jeremias at 8:48 PM on September 2, 2011


I tried to draw a completely flat line. The result had something to do with thongs.
posted by Ritchie at 8:48 PM on September 2, 2011


What the hell was revengeworld?
posted by Devils Rancher at 9:05 PM on September 2, 2011


Just remember, whatever you do, don't confuse this with the Google tool known as Causate.
posted by dhartung at 9:41 PM on September 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


I don't have the book with me right now, but it would be a ton of fun to take the "productivity relative to vodka consumption" graphs from Moscow to the end of the Line and see what you get here.

It probably isn't poetically booze-besotten monologue though.
posted by wandering steve at 10:17 PM on September 2, 2011


I'm just imagining what it must be like to google "Bell Yellow Pages."
posted by elwoodwiles at 2:36 AM on September 3, 2011


Many things seem to correlate to the school year. For other fun, try some political words. Like these.
posted by jopreacher at 4:55 AM on September 3, 2011


Ah, so this explains this tweet by Rob "I did the artwork for NIN" Sheridan, which resulted in this chart. I was amused.
posted by hippybear at 5:14 AM on September 3, 2011


Jake Gyllenhaal could use a hit, or is past expiry
posted by bendybendy at 5:36 AM on September 3, 2011


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