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April 25, 2006

Mixing It Up In The Google Weekly Zeitgeist

Google Announces 15 Top Gainers for the Week Ending April 24th

People searching on Google.com were of at least three minds this past week. On one hand there are real-world concerns to track (nepal, chernobyl, gas prices), and upcoming holidays to plan for (mother's day, cinco de mayo). On the other hand we like to read up on the foibles of the famous (Nick Lachey, Reggie Bush, Denise Richards) - which also include the ongoing radio host wars (Opie and Anthony, David Lee Roth). And we can't help ourselves - we seek out the scary too (Silent Hill, Pyramid Head).

For breaking news and obscure information alike, people around the world search on Google. Below is a summary of the Google Zeitgeist results for the top 15 gainers on Google.com when comparing search queries that have risen by a significant percentage for the week of April 17-24.

For more information, visit the Google Zeitgeist at http://www.google.com/zeitgeist.

Google.com Gainers

  1. 420 - modern folklore has it that teenagers in San Rafael, Calif., coined this term around 1970 to indicate a time to meet to smoke marijuana; today, April 20 is an informal holiday for pot smokers
  2. nick lachey - the celeb skirts overexposure with an MTV special that aired April 22 plus a Rolling Stone interview that attempts to set the record straight regarding his ex, Jessica Simpson
  3. silent hill - new horror film based on a videogame topped box office for the weekend of April 21 with $20 million in ticket sales
  4. nepal - the beleaguered mountain nation experienced significant pro-democracy protests against the king, who agreed April 24 to restore the parliament after a four-year hiatus
  5. miss usa - Tara Conner of Kentucky was crowned at the annual competition in Baltimore on April 21
  6. chernobyl - the world's worst nuclear accident occurred in Ukraine 20 years ago this week, triggering a fresh wave of analysis about what has changed (or not) since then, and how to prevent another one
  7. gas prices - Americans felt the effects of oil at $70/barrel, with gas pump prices hovering near $3/gallon
  8. reggie bush - USC player and Heisman trophy winner defended himself via attorneys about news stories that his family lived in an expensive home owned by a sports marketer who reportedly hoped to arrange presumably lucrative contracts for the footballer (against NCAA rules)
  9. mothers day - no, not yet; it's coming up May 14
  10. denise richards - starlet gets another 15 minutes both for winning a restraining order against soon-to-be-ex husband Charlie Sheen. based on accusations about his paranoid behavior, and she is also rumored to be canoodling with rock star Richie Sambora, recently split from Heather Locklear (got that?)
  11. opie and anthony - CBS Radio confirmed April 24 that it has hired rowdy shock jocks to replace David Lee Roth just 3 months after Roth was picked to replace Howard Stern, who moved to satellite radio
  12. pyramid head - fictional monster from Silent Hill 2 (the videogame) also plays a predictably alarming role in the new movie (see #3 above)
  13. david lee roth - former Van Halen frontman's morning talk show on CBS Radio was dropped on April 21 after less than 3 months on the air (see #11 above)
  14. aresanob - this promotional hook from the TV show CSI:NY is both a story angle (character Stella Bonasera's name backwards) and a website promoting the April 19 episode
  15. cinco de mayo - it's not yet either; the holiday marking Mexican independence occurs May 5