So Google has this new program called "Google Trends". It's pretty neat. Just enter a search term and you can see what areas have been searching for that term the most. You can also see a graph of how often it was searched for, and news articles during some of the peak times (such as a big event that created more interest). Enter two search terms, seperated by a comma, and you see how they compare. Here are a few I consider to be pretty obvious...
"Cycling" - Searched most from Denver, CO
"Lance Armstrong" - Searched most from Austin, TX
"George Hincapie" - Searched most from Greenville, SC
"Tour de France" - Searched most from Paris, France
"Tour of California" - Searched most from San Luis Obispo, CO
"Tour de Georgia" - Searched most from Macon, GA
Here are a few of my favorite comparisons:
CyclingNews and VeloNews are pretty close all the time, with VeloNews peaking much above CyclingNews in June/July
Philadelphia always generates more searches than Greenville
Lance Armstrong generates more searches than Barry Bonds, but Barry Bonds appears in the news much more than Lance recently (Lance's news volume and number of searches always appear to peak around July, wonder why...)
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I read somewhere that the one big problem with Google Trends is the fact that they don't monitor blogs to collect the data. If true, it seems they are missing a major trend setting genre.
No surprise on the Philadelphia vs. Greenville comparison. Philly has a metro area population that is almost 20 times that of all of Greenville county. If you adjust per capita, Greenville probably has a very high search rate for cycling topics. In fact, I think I am skewing the average all by myself.