The High Five: searches for New York, and other trending topics of the week

2 months 2 weeks ago

Here are a few of the week’s top search trends, with data from the Google News Lab.

Attack in New York

This week people turned to Google for more information about the New York terrorist attack—carried out by a man from Uzbekistan—that claimed the lives of eight victims. Top questions from people around the U.S. were, “What happened in New York?” “Where was the New York terrorist from?” And “Who died in the NYC attack?” Two of the top questions from New Yorkers themselves were: “How to mark yourself as safe on Facebook” and “Where is Uzbekistan located?”

What’s old is new

Approximately 4,500 years after the Pyramid of Giza was built, scientists have discovered a hidden 100-foot space within the Great Pyramid. People in South Dakota, New Mexico and Montana searched the most about the discovery, with top questions like, “Can you go inside the Great Pyramid?” “Which Pharaoh was the Great Pyramid built for?” and “How did the Egyptians build the pyramids?”

Be Prepared

In the circle of life, classic movies get remade. This week, Disney announced the cast of the new live-action “Lion King” movie, and search interest in “The Lion King” rose 1,700 percent. The most searched “Lion King” cast members were Beyoncé, Donald Glover, John Oliver, Keegan-Michael Key and Seth Rogen, while Simba and Pumbaa were the most searched characters.

Having a cow over emoji

A Twitter debate this week proved that some people have beef with Android’s cheeseburger emoji. People grilled Search with these top questions: “What is wrong with the cheeseburger emoji?” “Why is there a cheeseburger emoji?” and “What is the controversy over the cheeseburger emoji?” For those communicating in non-food emoji, the top searched emoji this week were ,  and .

A little birdie told us …

“The Lion King” isn’t the only comeback in the news this week. Tiger Woods announced he’s returning to golf following his back fusion surgery later this year. People are more interested in his resurgence than his surgery: search interest in “Tiger Woods return” swung 420 percent higher than “Tiger Woods surgery,” with top questions like “When was Tiger Woods’ last tour victory?” and “How many major championships has Tiger Woods won?”


DaedTech Digest: Static Analysis, Doco and Dependency Death Stars

2 months 2 weeks ago

Happy Friday, everybody.  I’m still figuring this digest thing out, so please bear with me.  But no matter how I iterate, what you’ll get is an aggregated link to posts that I’ve written for my Hit Subscribe business. I’m thinking I’ll do picks each week as well as the digests.  You know how podcast panelists […]

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Erik Dietrich

The bitcoin bubble

2 months 2 weeks ago

PUT the word Bitcoin into Google and you get (in Britain, at least) four adverts at the top of the list: "Trade Bitcoin with no fees", "Fastest Way to Buy Bitcoin", "Where to Buy Bitcoins" and "Looking to Invest in Bitcoins".

Become a Software Specialist with the Help of Your Resume

2 months 2 weeks ago

One of my aims with this blog is to help software developers take charge of the business of writing software.  And, while I love writing rants and diatribes, doing this requires a good bit of positively focused how-to sorts of things.  Today, I’ll charge at one of those: how to become a software specialist in […]

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Erik Dietrich

A Slice of My Life: What I Do, Why I Have Money, and How It All Works

2 months 2 weeks ago

It occurs to me that I spend a good bit of time weaving narrative into my posts.  I tell personal anecdotes to ground stories, and I add in a good bit of figurative language.  But it’s always fairly superficial.  I don’t generally get heavily into my own story.  As an introvert, this makes sense, since […]

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Erik Dietrich

The High Five: searches for an expanding universe

2 months 3 weeks ago

This week’s trends—with data from Google News Lab–have something for everyone: science experts, history buffs, baseball fans, music aficionados and dog lovers.

Mind-expanding, relatively speaking

Stephen Hawking’s doctoral thesis made news this week (and was searched 1,000 percent more than “Stephen Hawking IQ”) when the Cambridge Library made PDF files of the thesis available for download from its website. The document crashed the university’s open-access repository and led to top searches like, “How many pages is Stephen Hawking’s thesis paper?” “What is in Stephen Hawking’s thesis?” and “How to get a copy of Stephen Hawking’s PhD thesis.”

That’s a big file cabinet

American history buffs and conspiracy theorists alike waited in eager anticipation for yesterday’s release of the JFK Files, a set of more than 2,800 government files about the assassination of former President John F. Kennedy. People wanted to know where the files are, what time they were being released, and where to download them—and “JFK Files” were searched nearly 700 percent more than “JFK assassination.”

Next in the lineup, the World Series

The Los Angeles Dodgers hosted the Houston Astros in the first two games of the World Series this week. The series may be tied, but the Astros were searched 121 percent more than the Dodgers (the most search interest in the Dodgers comes from the West Coast, where as the Astros have the Midwest and East Coast). Here are the top questions that fans threw out there: “Who won game 2 of the World Series?” “How many World Series have the Dodgers won?” and “When was the last time the Astros won the World Series?”

More like Idita-roid

This week, a doping scandal was uncovered at the Iditarod, the world’s most famous dog race which takes place in Alaska. Several dogs tested positive for Tramadol, an opioid pain reliever. In light of the news, people searched to find more about the race itself: “When was the first Iditarod?” “How many dogs run in the Iditarod?” and “Who won the 2017 Iditarod race?” For those looking for non-doping dogs on the internet, the most-searched breeds this week were pit bull, German shepherd, and golden retriever.

Feeling blue, singing the blues

New Orleans jazz musician Fats Domino died earlier this week at the age of 89. Search interest in the musical legend increased nearly 32,000 percent on the day of his death, with top searches like, “How old was Fats Domino?” “How did Fats Domino die?” and “Which songs did Fats Domino sing?” The most searched Fats Domino songs over the past week were “Blueberry Hill,” “Ain’t that a Shame,” and “Blue Monday.”

Making search results more local and relevant

2 months 3 weeks ago

When you’re searching on Google, we aim to provide the most useful results for your query. Today, around one in five searches on Google is related to location, so providing locally relevant search results is an essential part of serving you the most accurate information.

In order to provide this optimal experience, your location determines the country service you receive results for across Google Search and Maps. Historically, these services have been labeled and accessed via country code top level domain names (ccTLD) such as [ for Nigeria] or [ for Brazil]. You may also have typed in the relevant ccTLD in your browser.

Today, we’ve updated the way we label country services on the mobile web, the Google app for iOS, and desktop Search and Maps. Now the choice of country service will no longer be indicated by domain. Instead, by default, you’ll be served the country service that corresponds to your location. So if you live in Australia, you’ll automatically receive the country service for Australia, but when you travel to New Zealand, your results will switch automatically to the country service for New Zealand. Upon return to Australia, you will seamlessly revert back to the Australian country service.

If for some reason you don't see the right country when you're browsing, you can still go into settings and select the correct country service you want to receive. Typing the relevant ccTLD in your browser will no longer bring you to the various country services—this preference should be managed directly in settings. In addition, at the bottom of the search results page, you can clearly see which country service you are currently using.

It’s important to note that while this update will change the way Google Search and Maps services are labeled, it won’t affect the way these products work, nor will it change how we handle obligations under national law. This update will help ensure that you get the most relevant results based on your location and is consistent with how Google already manages our services across a number of our other platforms, including YouTube, Blogger, Google Earth and Gmail, among others.

We’re confident this change will improve your Search experience, automatically providing you with the most useful information based on your search query and other context, including location.

DaedTech Digest: Agile, Code Review Horror Stories, Test Smells

2 months 3 weeks ago

First of all, some housekeeping.  Back when I finally gave Disqus the boot, it reverted comment settings to WordPress’s defaults.  One of these was, apparently, to turn off comments after 28 days. Sorry about that. Backlink spammers notwithstanding, I welcome comments on posts new and ancient.  So I want to be clear that I did […]

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Erik Dietrich

Building trust online by partnering with the International Fact Checking Network

2 months 3 weeks ago

With so much information available around the clock and across devices, the ability to quickly understand what’s true and what’s false online is increasingly important. That’s why a year ago, we introduced a new feature called the Fact Check tag, as a way to show people when a news publisher or fact check organization has verified or debunked a claim, statistic or statement.

Today, thousands of fact check articles appear on Google in Search results, on Google News, and across the open web. Fact checking articles—when a journalist looks at one single statement or issue and either verifies or debunks it—is important in today's climate because it helps readers better understand viral news stories and relevant issues. That’s why we’re supporting the organizations who do the hard work of fact checking so that we can make it available in Google Search.

Today we’re announcing a new partnership with the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) at The Poynter Institute. As a nonpartisan organization, IFCN is committed to promoting excellence in fact checking and building a community of fact checkers around the world. IFCN has developed a widely accepted Code of Principles for fact check organizations. Signatories range from the Associated Press to the Washington Post, PolitiFact and, to Correctiv (Germany), Aos Fatos (Brazil), and Africa Check.

Our partnership with IFCN will focus on these key areas with a global point of view:

  • Increasing the number of verified fact checkers through a combination of efforts, ranging from holding global fact check workshops to offering coaching and stipends for new fact checking organizations. Ultimately, these partners can help make sure that the content on Google Search and Google News has been accurately fact checked.
  • Expanding fact checking to more regions by translating the Code of Principles into ten languages and ensuring credible fact checkers can apply to participate in the IFCN community.
  • Providing fact-checking tools, at no cost, to the IFCN community. We’ll also offer trainings and access to an engineering time bank. Volunteer engineers will attend the annual Global Fact-Checking Summit to spend a day helping fact checkers develop software solutions to boost their impact or gain other efficiencies.

Through partnerships with organizations like the IFCN, we hope this gives people a better understanding of the information they are about to click on online.

Should I Incorporate? The Knowledge Worker’s Dilemma

2 months 3 weeks ago

Happy Monday, everybody.  To help prolong your procrastination over morning coffee just a little bit longer, I’ll offer you the latest installment of reader question Monday.  Today, I answer a question that many reading my blog probably have: should I incorporate? Here’s the actual question, as I recorded it. What is the cost/benefit of incorporating? […]

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Erik Dietrich

The High Five: this week’s trends have a sweet tooth

2 months 4 weeks ago

A celebrity baby on the way, a sidelined NBA player, and ice cream for dessert: here’s a look at the week’s top-searched trends, with data from the Google News Lab.

Sing us a lullaby, you’re the Piano Man

Search interest in “Billy Joel age” went up nearly 8,000 percent this week after it was announced that the 68-year-old musician and his wife Alexis are expecting a child. Age was top of mind in the other searches as well: people asked “How old is Billy Joel’s wife?” and “How old is Billy Joel’s daughter?” as well as “How many children does Billy Joel have?”

I scream, you scream, we all search for the Museum of Ice Cream

After it it was reported that sprinkles from San Francisco’s Museum of Ice Cream (the interactive, social media-friendly art installation that’s already swept Los Angeles) have been found all around the city, search interest in “Museum of Ice Cream” rose nearly 5,00 percent. People are searching for the scoop: “How much are Museum of Ice Cream tickets?” “Who created the Museum of Ice Cream?” and “How to start something like the Museum of Ice Cream?” (Apparently it takes a lot of sprinkles.) And while we’re dishing out the ice cream trends ... the top-searched types of ice cream this week were “rolled ice cream,” “mochi ice cream,” and “vegan ice cream.”

NBA season tips off

After Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward fell to the floor with a fractured tibia and dislocated ankle on Wednesday (the first night of the NBA season), people searched: “How long will Gordon Hayward be out?” “How long does a fractured ankle take to heal?” and “How long is Gordon Hayward’s contract with the Celtics?” After the injury, search interest in Gordon Hayward shot up nearly 52,000 percent—making him the most searched NBA player on opening night (followed by LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Steph Curry).

Let them eat (10-foot) cake

Rapper Gucci Mane had an extravagant wedding this week, and the highlight was a 10-foot-tall $75,000 cake, prompting people to search: “How much was Gucci Mane’s wedding?” “Where was Gucci Mane’s wedding?” and “Who was at Gucci Mane’s wedding?” (Hopefully enough people to eat all that cake.) While the decadent dessert may have raised questions about the rapper’s fortune, interest in “Gucci Mane wedding” was searched 2.5 times more than “Gucci Mane net worth.”

I’m feeling spooky

In the weeks leading up to Halloween, some have existential questions about the holiday (the top searched question was ”Why do people wear costumes for Halloween?”), while others are focused on finding the perfect costume: “What should I be for Halloween?” “How to make a Halloween costume?” and “What is the most popular Halloween costume?” We’ve got the last question covered—Google’s Frightgeist can tell you what people around the country or in your own hometown are searching for this Halloween.

The First DaedTech Digest

2 months 4 weeks ago

I mentioned this idea in a post I wrote the other day, the idea of a digest style of post.  So today, I’d like to give it a try. You see this sort of thing a lot, all over the place.  So-called planet sites have been around for a long time, aggregating community-related articles into […]

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Erik Dietrich