October 26, 2020

Mississippi’s Google search data reveals interesting habits in 2018

Your mother probably told you that we all are what you eat — a not-so-subtle effort to get you to eat your green beans. But in today’s world, we are what we Google and what Mississippians Googled last year sheds some light into the Magnolia state’s habits and psyche. Numbers 7 and 9 may surprise you and worry local merchants. The data also shows we play lots of games, mourn dead singers and look at YouTube videos a good bit, too.

In analyzing search data, it’s helpful to realize that sometimes people just type in a single word to help them quickly find something more complex. That may be why the word that appeared most in Google searches from within Mississippi was “Mississippi.”

Searches for “Mississippi State” or “Mississippi weather” would have both driven the M-word to the top of the ranks.

Number 2 on Google’s Trend list of Mississippi is the word “You” which likely is the lazy Googlers’ way of getting to YouTube, the popular video site. The actual word “youtube” shows up as the fifth-most searched term.

Numbers 3 and 4 are pretty predictable. The third most searched term on Google was “facebook” and No. 4 is “weather.”

And number 6 is just a little baffling – Google. Why on earth would someone type “google” into a google search box? Likely that’s caused by people simply not understanding that on many browsers you can simply click in the address field and type a search term. Simply Googling “google” will bring you to the Google main search page.

The lucky no. 7 spot is “walmart,” the global retailer that has mostly cornered the market on pretty much anything you need in most communities, has quickly become an online retailing powerhouse. The search term moved up from the No. 9 spot in 2017.

Just down the list for 2018 at no. 9 is “amazon,” the 600-pound, online retailing gorilla. Amazon was no. 11 last year. That Mississippians are increasing searching for those terms may give local businesses pause as the convenience of online shopping is difficult to beat. But local stores can offer personalized, knowledgeable service that online retailers cannot.

Searches for “news” came in at no. 8.

Also of note is what Google dubs “rising” search terms, or ones that dramatically increased during the year, often because of sudden high interest. Among the 2018 list of rising stars in Mississippi Google searches:

1). Fortnite (the popular video game that has taken the nation by storm)
2). Gmail login mail (for obvious reasons)
3). Aretha Franklin (God rest her musical soul)
4). Facebook login (see Gmail reason above)
5). Mac Miller (young rap musician who died of an overdose, God rest his soul as well)

By comparison, 2017’s top 5 rising searches speak to the times then. They include:

1). Hurricane Irma
2). Fidget spinner
3). Walmart black friday 2017
4). Nintendo switch
5). North Korea

What will Mississippi search for in 2019? Only time will tell. To explore past Google trends visit: https://trends.google.com/trends/?geo=US