Looking at search trends all day long is an interesting job, just ask any of our SEO strategists. Diving deep into the world wide web to find user data, consumer trends, and market insights is a large part of what our digital team of fact-finding explorers does every day. And sometimes, we come across some weird stuff; such as the most popular conspiracy theories by state.
Don’t ask us how we got here, because honestly we don’t know, but once we started to comb through data we became hooked on the idea of determining each state’s most popular conspiracy theory. To compile our map, we looks at which conspiracy theories has the highest organic search volume index over a year-long span. Here’s what we found.
And just a note, this project was just an impartial (and pretty amusing) look at search trends on our part. This is a judgement-free zone and the below statements are not meant to reflect the greater populus of any state. Really, one could just use this piece as a list of all the different conspiracy theories in general – who knew there were so many!
Embed this map on your site with this code snippet:
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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?
- “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 & Schmidt – Forecasting 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 we started our endeavor to figure out the ‘#1 Google Searched Conspiracy Theory by State‘ we 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? To us, understanding search trends helps our team to 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 understanding some of the intricacies of Google Trends is worthwhile.
So Many Conspiracy Articles, so Little Time
Obviously, there will be a lot of webpages that will detail the top searched conspiracy theories relative to each state. So how do search engines file through all this content to give the searcher the best results?
Looking at the map, people in Texas seem to be fairly concerned with the moon landing being faked. With so many google searches taking place in the state revolved around this conspiracy, how does SEO factor in terms of determining what content shows up for each search? Well, the pages that have the strongest content, cleanest page titles and meta description, and quickest speed will likely appear at the top of search rankings.
In looking at content, which pages feature the best use of keyword and keyword synonyms, as well as related theories about the conspiracy? So, for the moon landing hoax, articles that are most in depth will likely draw more traffic to the site. Mentioning how the Space Race with the Soviet Union was a main motivator for the conspiracy, as well as the popular theory that Stanley Kubrick helped direct the staged landing. For keywords, moon landing hoax, moon landing conspiracy and moon landing faked should all be used throughout the content.
The page titles and the short, concise descriptions underneath on search results are also help search engines decide which content is the most relevant. Page titles that are clean and attention-grabbing will improve the pages SEO and will also generate more clicks, therefore increasing their search rankings. A descriptive URL will also help. A strong page title and description combination for the moon landing hoax could be as follows:
Of course, you can’t forget about page speed. A page with tons of pictures detailing why the moon landing was faked needs to make sure the images and web page itself is fully optimized for speed.
Lesson to be learned? If you’re in a field with lots of competitors, use smart SEO tactics to beat out your competition. Contact us today and our SEO team will work with you to make sure your conspiracy theories (or products and services) get the audience they need.