Winners and Losers of November

  • Posted November 30th, 2010 at 4:50 pm by Yahoo! Search
  • Categories: Search Trends

This month at Yahoo! Search you kept us busy with queries about who was leading the pack in sports, politics, music, and matrimony. Here’s a look back at a busy November and what people searched for on Yahoo! Search.

The first big winners of the month arrived on the very first day when the San Francisco Giants triumphed in the World Series, scoring their first championship since 1954. Searches for the Giants rose by more than 160% from the day before their win, while those for their rival Rangers moved only about 2%, proving that in search as well as in sports, winning is everything.

The next day brought the U.S. midterm elections and a corresponding surge of related search queries. PC users were curious about voting hours and exit polls, while mobile users on their way to cast a ballot asked “where is my voting place?”  And even though they were winners at the polls, many users still had queries about the GOP the day after the elections. Searches for “meaning of gop,” were up about 163% on November 3rd and those for “gop leader,” increased by close to 425% on the same day. Users were also keen to know more about California’s Prop 19 results, the Alaska senate race, and the fate of Delaware’s Christine O’Donnell.

Those who enjoyed sleeping in were big winners on November 7th when the clocks rolled back for Daylight Saving Time. Searches for information on the yearly time change were up 1,257% from the week before.  But mobile users had another kind of winner in mind this month when they typed in queries for news on the Country Music Association awards, looking for info about who was crowned  CMA Entertainer of the Year and about the show’s co-host Carrie Underwood.  And the day after the American Music Awards on November 21st, PC queries for “Justin Bieber AMA 2010” shot up by about 2,500%. You may – or may not — be surprised to learn that females generated about 70% of the Beiber-related searches that day and that about 40% of those searches came from girls under 17.

An event with no real victor was the shelling of Yeonpyeong Island by North Korea. Data on Yahoo! Clues shows a prominent spike in searches for North Korea vs. South Korea at the time of the attack, especially among men.

Curiosity about the woman who won the heart of a future King fueled a huge increase in searches for Kate Middleton in the middle of November. On Yahoo! UK , queries about Ms. Middleton went up nearly 20,000% the day after her engagement to Prince William was announced.  U.S.  users had some very specific questions about the couple, including “Can royalty marry a commoner?,” Is Kate Middleton American?,” and “How tall is Kate Middleton.”  Searches for Kate’s spectacular sapphire ring, once the property of her late mother-in-law, also took a jump.

The end of the month brought Thanksgiving and the two big events that go with it: eating and shopping. The search data show that in the battle of the birds, deep-fried turkey came out ahead of roast turkey, with men aged 35-54 responsible for about 31% of queries about plunging the main course in boiling oil. Other seasonal recipe searches on PC included cranberry relish, sweet potato casserole, and tofurkey, while sophisticated searchers on mobile asked “What is the best wine to have with Thanksgiving turkey?”

Queries about Black Friday had already begun in September, so it’s no surprise that they gained momentum as the day of deals grew closer.  In the week before the sales began, searches on mobile for “walmart black friday 2010” went up by close to 100% and those for “target black Friday” rose by nearly  132 %. (For mobile users going upscale, inquiries about louis vuitton saw a jump of around 49%.) But Black Friday wasn’t the only winning day for retail: Check these graphs to see how searches on PC for Black Friday vs. Cyber Monday broke down.

November closed with an uptick in searches for Christmas and Hanukkah on both PC and mobile Questions ranged from the practical when should i buy a christmas tree?” to the more hopeful “how do i ask my boyfriend how much he is planning to spend for christmas?”

Check back next month to see what’s got people curious on Yahoo! Search.

Mireille Majoor
Yahoo! Search Blog

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