Since March 2006 Google has again added China to their monthly zeitgeist.
Zeitgeist is described by Google as:
a cumulative snapshot of interesting queries people are asking – some over time, some within country domains, and some on Google.com – that perhaps reveal a bit of the human condition.
The queries show trends and are not necessarily the top searches but they give an indication of what is popular and what is not. They are, as John Battelle named them, the “Database of intentions”
Zeitgeist disappeared and came back
Around August 2005 the China Zeitgeist disappeared strangely enough. After launching their sanitized search version Google.cn, Google felt it probably approproate to include them again.
This last part is speculation on my side as it may as well be that they use Google.com search queries in Chinese. Chances are though, that they use the Google.cn queries.
What are the trends in China?
On first sight the constant searches are Games, Software and the Super Girl (the Chinese version of American Idol) winner Li Yu Chun (categorized under Music).
See this chart where I have divided the searches in different categories spread over the period March - July 2006
What else is popular
- The months April, May and June show that the new moral guidelines by President Hu Jintao, the 8 honors, 8 disgraces, were popular online.
In July these guidelines have been overtaken again by even more games.
- In June and July the World Cup Football is popular.
- China Mobile and China Merchant Bank for some reason are pretty constant.
- Seasonal searches take place in June with the “college entrance examination” taking place and “Psychology test”
Click for a bigger chart here
All this is in no way scientific or whatever. It’s just a little excercise done by me out of curiosity. It does however give an indication that the focus of the Chinese using search is on fun things.
Any questions, comments are very welcome. If you some see errors please point them out.
In the full chart I have translated the Chinese keywords to English and there is a big chance it’s not always perfect.