A great writer once said, "Men lie, women lie, numbers don't." But an even whiter, older writer once said, "There are three kinds of lies: Lies, damned lies, and statistics." Why do we juxtapose those quotes? To make an important point: Raw data is very helpful in making arguments, but raw data can still be misleading. This is good to keep in mind when looking at something like Google Trends.
What is Google Trends? It's a free service provided by Google that allows users to see how often terms are searched on Google. Better yet, it allows you to compare the popularity of different search terms. So for example, if you wanted to see whether people searched more for BMW or Honda, you simply type in "BMW" and "Honda" into Google Trends and you'll get your answer.
Why is this important? Because let's face it, the Internet is not really the "information superhighway." It's a sprawling, tangled mess of confusing pop-up ads and porn. Google, though, is something closer to what might be called the information superhighway, because it's the portal we all use to get to the information we want to know. It's become so embedded into our way of life that the phrase "Google it" has became a part of our everyday lexicon.
So if Google is the answer to all of our questions, what is it that people want to know? More specifically, what is it that people want to know about rap music? If people are using Google to get their information about rap music, or to get the rap music itself, what words or terms are they searching for? Remember, the Internet is the most democratic thing in the world. Press exposure, radio spins, and videos on MTV can build an artist's name, but a gauge of word searches for that name will tell us more about voluntary behavior—how many people express, through direct action, interest in that name.
We logged onto Google Trends this week to compare the names of some of our favorite rappers, to see who's really hot in these streets. (Or, well, these Internet streets.) Here are our results: 15 Significant Stats About Rap We Learned From Google Trends.
Written by Insanul Ahmed (@Incilin)