The data Google collects is incredible. And searchable. The US company Fixr has analysed what people search for, by looking at the autocomplete function:
«Google’s autocomplete function provides suggestions derived from common Google searches by other users. Comparing autocomplete results for searches on different countries reveals how certain places are perceived by people around the World.»
The results are both fun and disturbing. While one in North America are most interested in the cost of patents and passports, in south one searches for the cost of prostitutes, beer, coke, gas and funerals. Apparently New Zealanders show great interest in vasectomies, while their Australian neighbors are concerned about the cost of in vitro fertilization. In Norway and Sweden one searches for the cost of studying. In Africa the main focus is the cost of food and shelter … and in one country slaves (Mauritania).
Now one can ask, does the result represent what poeple in the different countries actally search for – cost wise? A quick search in Norway shows this:
So, in Norway, the main focus is apparently snuff, cigarettes, silicon implants and the cost of traffic accidents – not the cost of studying.
Anyway, its an interesting approach to finding out the world populations main interests.