Looking at search trends all day long is an interesting job, and to me it’s always interesting to see just what exactly the people of the individual states are searching for. By looking at various conspiracy theories – and what state had the highest “search volume index” – we can get an idea about what conspiracy theories particular states have the most interest in.* Also, check out our larger hub – Search Trends 2016.
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Now, this isn’t a blanket statement that all of these are untrue, or for that matter have any legitimacy at all… it’s just an impartial (and pretty amusing) look at search trends. This could also be used as a list of Conspiracy Theories in general – who knew there were so many?!
A list of the States and their top ‘Search Trend’ Conspiracy Theory:
- Alabama – Clinton Body Count
- Alaska – Obama Birth Certificate
- Arizona – MK Ultra
- Arkansas – Philadelphia Experiment
- California – Princess Diana Murdered
- Colorado – New World Order
- Connecticut – Sandy Hook Conspiracies
- Delaware – Delaware Doesn’t Exist ?
- Florida – Atlantis
- Georgia – FEMA Coffins
- Hawaii – The 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami
- Idaho – Bigfoot
- Illinois – Sharia Law Takeover
- Indiana – Paul McCartney is Dead
- Iowa – JFK Conspiracy
- Kansas – Scalia Assassination
- Kentucky – Face on Mars
- Louisiana – Area 51
- Maine – Knights Templar
- Maryland – The Protocols of The Elders of Zion
- Massachusetts – Big Pharma Conspiracy
- Michigan – Cell Phones Cause Cancer
- Minnesota – Flat Earth Theory
- Mississippi – U.N. Conspiracy
- Missouri – HAARP Weather Control
- Montana – Nbiru / Planet X
- Nebraska – Priory of Scion
- Nevada – Chemtrails
- New Hampshire – False Flag Operations
- New Jersey – Pan Am Flight 103 Conspiracy
- New Mexico – Reptilians
- New York – 9/11 was an inside job
- North Carolina – Anti-vaccination
- North Dakota – Eugenics
- Ohio – Is Elvis Alive?
- Oklahoma – Operation Northwoods
- Oregon – Fluoride Conspiracy
- Pennsylvania – Pearl Harbor Conspiracy
- Rhode Island – Skull & Bones Conspiracy
- South Carolina – Tupac is alive
- South Dakota – Global Warming Hoax
- Tennessee – Majestic 12
- Texas – Moon Landing Faked
- Utah – North American Union
- Vermont – Peak Oil
- Virginia – Federal Reserve Conspiracy
- Washington – Knights of Malta
- West Virginia – Bermuda Triangle
- Wisconsin – Holocaust Denial
- Wyoming – Watergate Scandal
Some interesting observations on search trend analysis
How does Google gauge ‘Search Volume Index’?
- Search interest = (# of queries for keyword) / (total Google search queries)
- 0 – 100 values are relative, not absolute, measures
- For regional representations of ‘search volume index’ in Google trends, you are seeing a normalized indication within each country. If you have an interest index of 100 in Virginia, and an index of 20 in California this just means the concentration of Californians is less than the concentration of Virginians. They could be less interested in the particular term, or they just search way more for other queries besides that term, so it’s not taking into consideration the size of the state population or the amount of queries per person.
What are people saying about how you can use Google Trends?
Top conspiracy theory for each state – Using Google Trends in a new way
When I started my endeavor to ‘#1 Google Searched Conspiracy Theory by State‘ I simply wanted to use Google Trends in a new and interesting way. If it can be used to gauge interest for investors, what else can it be used for? I think that understanding search trends helps us understand certain movements of public interest and possibly even behavior.
Understanding what’s being searched is a very curious facet of Sociology: The study of the development, structure and functioning of human society, or the ‘study of human problems.’
If search patterns really help us get a glimpse into the collective consciousness, then I think understanding some of the intricacies of Google Trends is worthwhile.
Here’s a screenshot of the Google Trend line for ‘Conspiracy’ from 2004 or so to 2016. – We can see a slight incline over time. It’s important to note how Google gauges search trends; The trend line compares “how often a particular search-term is entered relative to the total search-volume across various regions of the world, and in various languages.”
Let’s take a look at this map for which state searches the word ‘conspiracy’ the most. It should be noted that impartial researchers from Wellesley College and others have taken issue with using Google Trends for making serious predictions such as the outcome of elections.
Nonetheless, the use of Google Trends to do analysis in the public’s interest in certain subjects remains a particularly fascinating tool for both casual researchers, and companies and brands who look to capitalize on the those interests that are gaining speed and search volume over time.
*In 4 or 5 cases, sufficient data wasn’t available and more granular Google searches were used to fill in the remaining states.
* In any case where a state had already been the top state for a particular search, it was skipped over in favor of a state that hadn’t been the top state for a particular conspiracy theory. If all of the top states had already been given a conspiracy theory, the conspiracy theory was skipped.
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