Conspiracy Theory Search Trends by State

Conspiracy Theory Search Trends by State

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Conspiracy Theory - Most Google Searched by State
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.

Embed this map on your site with this code snippet:

<a href=""><img src="//" alt="Number One Conspiracy by State - Google Trends" width="3000" height="2393" /></a>

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:

  1. Alabama – Clinton Body Count
  2. Alaska – Obama Birth Certificate
  3. Arizona – MK Ultra
  4. Arkansas – Philadelphia Experiment
  5. California – Princess Diana Murdered
  6. Colorado – New World Order
  7. Connecticut – Sandy Hook Conspiracies
  8. Delaware – Delaware Doesn’t Exist ?
  9. Florida – Atlantis
  10. Georgia – FEMA Coffins
  11. Hawaii – The 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami 
  12. Idaho – Bigfoot
  13. Illinois – Sharia Law Takeover
  14. Indiana – Paul McCartney is Dead
  15. Iowa – JFK Conspiracy
  16. Kansas – Scalia Assassination
  17. Kentucky – Face on Mars
  18. Louisiana – Area 51
  19. Maine – Knights Templar
  20. Maryland – The Protocols of The Elders of Zion
  21. Massachusetts – Big Pharma Conspiracy
  22. Michigan – Cell Phones Cause Cancer
  23. Minnesota – Flat Earth Theory
  24. Mississippi – U.N. Conspiracy
  25. Missouri – HAARP Weather Control
  26. Montana – Nbiru / Planet X
  27. Nebraska – Priory of Scion
  28. Nevada – Chemtrails
  29. New Hampshire – False Flag Operations
  30. New Jersey – Pan Am Flight 103 Conspiracy
  31. New Mexico – Reptilians
  32. New York – 9/11 was an inside job
  33. North Carolina – Anti-vaccination
  34. North Dakota – Eugenics
  35. Ohio – Is Elvis Alive?
  36. Oklahoma – Operation Northwoods
  37. Oregon – Fluoride Conspiracy
  38. Pennsylvania – Pearl Harbor Conspiracy
  39. Rhode Island – Skull & Bones Conspiracy
  40. South Carolina – Tupac is alive
  41. South Dakota – Global Warming Hoax
  42. Tennessee – Majestic 12
  43. Texas – Moon Landing Faked
  44. Utah – North American Union
  45. Vermont – Peak Oil
  46. Virginia – Federal Reserve Conspiracy
  47. Washington – Knights of Malta
  48. West Virginia – Bermuda Triangle
  49. Wisconsin – Holocaust Denial
  50. 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?

  • “By analyzing changes in Google query volumes for search terms related to finance, we find patterns that may be interpreted as ‘early warning signs’ of stock market moves.” –Pries & Stanley, Quantifying Trading Behavior in Financial Markets using Google Trends.
  • “[W]e introduce a new indicator for private consumption based on search query time series provided by Google Trends.” –Vosen & SchmidtForecasting private consumption – Survey-based indicators vs. Google Trends
  • “We use daily internet search volume from millions of households to reveal market-level sentiment.” – Da, Engelberg & Gao, 2010 The sum of all fears: investor sentiment and asset prices

  • According to the in-depth Wikipedia entry for Google Trends, it can be used to accurately predict a variety of behaviors. Certain racist terms being used more often in certain regions can be “used to predict racism in that area,” according to Yossi Matias – mind you Yossi is a Google executive, so he may have a vested interest in proving Trends can be used for research. According to Yossi, Obama lost 4 percentage points related to this racially tinged rhetoric in these regions.

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.”

Conspiracy - Google Trends Analysis

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.

Regional Interest for Conspiracy - Google Trends by US States

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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Abby Olson

Abby Olson

Abby is a sparkplug of energy, and a go-getter in leading the SEO department. She helps kick in the energy in the office and keeps us all on our toes.


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