Google’s trends feature allows one to examine the frequency of use of search terms. Given that we’ve just passed the annual recognition of Martin Luther King’s birthday, I pushed a really simple query through the feature. Here are the results. You can replicate this and play with it (e.g., alter the search term or the country—I used “martin luther king” and the USA—to see how variations contribute to differences0.
I didn’t find the annual cyclicity in the data surprising. It was intriguing, though, that the spike for this year was higher than in previous years. Howver, given the number of cycles for which there are data, it is hard to make much of the patterns.
One thing that surprised me was that Google did not provide results for news stories in response to this query. I wonder why.
Here an interesting comparison: martin luther king vs. santa claus