Google Trends Has Predicted The US President Since 2004

by Jim November 9, 2016

This is a short post but I hope you find it interesting.

I love Google trends. In most cases I prefer to use it for keyword research than the Adwords keyword planner tool. It’s more granular and allows me to see the difference between plural and singular. Now with it’s added features that will allow you to set custom dates and search traffic down to the last hour, it can provide some very useful insights indeed. In fact that is what it used to be called Google Insights For Search.

Specific Dates Confirmed My Suspicions

The ability to look at specific dates since 2004,  comparing Presidential candidates’ search volumes confirmed my suspicions of 3 years ago  that trends predicts elections.

When I posted this I was genuinely surprised. I really haven’t had the stomach to follow the election that closely until today.

Clinton Trump-2016 last 4 hours
Clinton Trump-2016 last 4 hours

What you are looking at is search traffic for the words Trump and Clinton in the past 4 hours. I screen grabbed that today at 9:06 AM AEST. So it goes back to about 6 hours before the polls closed.  So I tweeted privately to some mates about 45 mins after the poll closed. Clinton Trump Prediction

This is why. I looked back at other elections. The following graphs are the 30 day lead up to the election. You will see on the day of the election the winner’s search volume peaks.

Obama Romney 2012

Obama Romney 2012 Google Trends
Obama Romney 2012 Google Trends

Obama McCain 2008

Obama McCain Google Trends 2008
Obama McCain Google Trends 2008

Bush Kerry 2004

Bush Kerry Google Trends 2004
Bush Kerry Google Trends 2004

We don’t have data that goes back further than 2004. I haven’t checked all the spikes in the graph but from previous experience they are usually debates or media exposure. The final day spikes though have to be people making their decision.

I’ll do a more in depth video on this but Google Trends really does reflect the zeitgeist. Here’s the final one.

Clinton Trump 2016

Clinton Trump Trends Last 30 Days
Clinton Trump Trends Last 30 Days

Love to hear your thoughts and sharing is caring 🙂

 

UPDATE: Just doing some further digging. I’d appreciate your input in filling in some of the gaps as to what triggered some key spikes and troughs. I’m just looking at what the graph is telling me. I haven’t yet had time to research it.

Bernie Sanders Could Have Won

Something happened in the second week of Feb that he struggled to recover from. His momentum looked like it was going to overtake Trump though.

Bernie Sanders 2016 Google Trends
Bernie Sanders 2016 Google Trends

Where Clinton Lost It

Trump just seems to climb and leaves Clinton behind. Even the final day spike is worse than Romney’s. Clinton seemed to be making ground, finally being more popular than Trump. Then Trump skyrocketed.

Clinton falls away
Clinton falls away

The Election Was Decided On The 5th Of November

What happened?

Trump Wins Google Trends
Trump Wins Google Trends

Jim’s been here for a while, you know who he is.

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