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Google Asks: Can Search Trends Predict The Oscars?

Search activity on Bing didn’t help predict the Grammy winners this year; Lady Gaga was the subject of about a zillion more searches than Album of the Year winner, The Arcade Fire. Klout scores also couldn’t predict the Grammy Award winners. In fact, social media as a whole failed to tell us who the winners would be in advance.

But despite all that, Google is asking if search trends can predict the Oscar winners, and it’s created a mini-site called Oscar Search Trends to let us see who’s winning the search activity race.


As of this moment, Black Swan would be the favorite for Best Picture — if Google search activity is any measure of things to come. The site shows trends for all of the major Oscar categories and a lot of minor ones, too – about two dozen in all. (There’s also a countdown to the awards ceremony, but Google’s clock is off by three hours; it starts at 8:00 pm ET on February 27th, not 8:00 pm PT.)

Based on film awards that have already been announced, the New York Times says that The King’s Speech is the favorite for Best Picture. But in the end, prior awards, search activity and social media may tell us nothing about who’ll win the Oscars this year. It may be that a German cross-eyed opossum has as good a chance as anyone … including Google.

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