What do we want this Christ­mas?

We turn to the In­ter­net for prac­ti­cally every­thing these days, and the first stop is usu­ally Google. With Christ­mas shop­ping, par­ties and fam­ily get­to­geth­ers to or­gan­ise, how does Google come to the res­cue? Priyanka Bhon­sule tracks New Zealand’s search ha

Kapi-Mana News - - FEATURE -

What is it about fes­tive, cheesy mu­sic that gets peo­ple in the spirit of Christ­mas?

That seems to be the thing we search for most of­ten when we type ‘‘Christ­mas’’ into Google.

Google Cor­re­late is a fea­ture that finds search pat­terns af­ter track­ing users habits; for ex­am­ple typ­ing in ‘‘ mit­tens’’ might show what other re­lated things peo­ple are search­ing for, such as ‘‘knit­ted hat’’ and ‘‘puffy jacket’’. Search­ing ‘‘Christ­mas’ re­veals that the top re­lated searches are mu­si­cal.

From Bing Crosby to John Den­ver, fol­lowed by types of mu­sic like ‘‘ rock ’n roll Christ­mas’’ and ‘‘ Christ­mas jazz’’.

‘‘Candy’’ and ‘‘Santa’s elves’’ also make an ap­pear­ance in the re­lated searches, most likely by chil­dren, while Je­sus is far down the list.

For some, Christ­mas is re­ally about the presents so what will you be get­ting in your stock­ing this year?

If Cor­re­late re­sults are any­thing to go by, ex­pect more mu­si­cal gifts as ‘‘ karaoke Christ­mas’’ and ‘‘pi­ano’’ make an ap­pear­ance in the top 10 re­lated searches for ‘‘ Christ­mas presents’’.

Tough eco­nomic con­di­tions show their ef­fect as ‘‘creative Christ­mas’’ and ‘‘ home­made gifts’’ make it into the top 10 as well.

Plenty of peo­ple want to of­fer the best on Christ­mas morn­ing so ‘‘top ten christ­mas gifts’’ and ‘‘ per­fect christ­mas gift’’ are pop­u­lar re­lated searches, and some are giv­ing back with ‘‘ christ­mas do­na­tions’’ be­ing searched for too.

Clearly, some are not ex­pect­ing to be de­lighted with their loot. ‘‘ Christ­mas gift ex­change’’ was one of the top re­lated search.

And while Google is track­ing and cor­re­lat­ing search pat­terns, the search re­sults them­selves are in­ter­est­ing.

What about search­ing ‘‘per­fect Christ­mas gift’’?

Well, you can al­ways buy a goat.

Buy a Goat, a char­i­ta­ble gift for life for a fam­ily liv­ing in poverty is the top link.

This is fol­lowed by a link from Askmen.com list­ing 25 gifts men would like most for the fes­tive sea­son.

FYI, the top three gifts are a pair of high-pow­ered binoc­u­lars, mo­bile phone and a por­ta­ble sat- el­lite ra­dio re­ceiver.

There is also a link to the Darts Ware­house, and firearms are ap­par­ently the per­fect stock­ing fillers.

Change the set­ting to New Zealand pages and lot of the links are real es­tate; ap­par­ently for Ki­wis, new house equals per­fect Christ­mas gift.

Mean­while, a search for ‘‘ creative Christ­mas’’ shows how to make your desk­top look more fes­tive with Top 40 Christ­mas wall­pa­pers, un­usual Christ­mas trees and unique gift ideas, which in­clude non-vi­o­lent, ed­u­ca­tional gifts for chil­dren and nam­ing stars.

Google Trends analy­ses searches to com­pare the in­ter­est in a topic over time, in dif­fer­ent coun­tries.

A search for Christ­mas in New Zealand re­turns pre­dictable re­sults – while numbers skim the bot­tom of the graph for most of the year, come Oc­to­ber and it spikes, hit­ting large numbers right up un­til De­cem­ber and some­times into Jan­uary.

For the 90 days be­tween Septem­ber 7 to De­cem­ber 5, searches for Christ­mas cards and gifts were the fastest ris­ing in New Zealand.

Christ­mas pa­rades were next on the list, most likely fam­i­lies want­ing to know when their lo­cal pa­rades were on.

Christ­mas googled: It’s folk in the prov­inces rather than the big cities who are turn­ing to Google for fes­tive in­spi­ra­tion, ac­cord­ing to this Google Christ­mas search graph.

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