Category Archives: The Numbers Guy

American Values, Google Edition

Go ahead and guess what came out as Number 3 on AOL’s “Top Searches from Mobile Devices.”  Right!  It’s porn.  The Wall Street Journal’s Carl Bialik (The Numbers Guy) got the original list in a draft press release, and said he “pointed out the surprising entry” to a spokeswoman, who said that normally, such terms are “scrubbed from the list.”  And guess what?  When the final list was released, “porn” was nowhere to be found, replaced by “iPhone,” which was pushed up to Number 3 from Number 4 on the original draft release.

It gets even better….

“…Britney Spears and Saddam Hussein could each top the category of ‘celebrity’ and ‘news,’ respectively, in lists from multiple search engines.  Those search engines willing to share numbers beyond their news releases made clear that, in search land, the troubled pop singer trumped the late dictator.  Searches for Ms. Spears ran six times those for Mr. Hussein on Yahoo!, and nearly 600 times on Lycos.”

How embarrassing for our nation.

 

[sources:  Bialik article:  you can search it on WSJ.com under The Numbers Guy for December 21.  Title of article is "What Topics Filled (Clean) Minds in '07?  For One:  An Asterisk or use the link here: http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB119820461738044109-lECMb7qhI7UaxADXmlRkefZGJhI_20081220.html?mod=rss_free  ]