The Oscar Goes To – According to Google Trends

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Just a couple of hours to go and it will be clear which movie is getting the Oscar for best film.

I was wondering whether Google Trends will have any predictive value and did 3 Trend searches.

Release dates and other factors haven’t been taken into consideration and the whole exercise is in no way scientific, just in case I’m wrong, I mean just in case Google is wrong.

I started with the names of the movies

The Queen and Babel already had searches years before the movie was even aired. This makes sense as there are many queens in this world and Babel goes back to the Bible. Babel has the lead though.

I narrowed the search by using the names of the movies + the word “movie”

The Departed was doing pretty well but peaked to early. Again it’s Babel that is on top.

And for a final check I performed a search for “movie name” plus the word “film”.

Babel is also in the lead for this search, with a big distance to the rest. Letters of Iwo Jima is nowhere to be found.

If it’s up to Google the movie Babel will get the four kilograms. Who do you think will win?

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Gemme van Hasselt is an Internet Marketing Consultant, living in Shanghai, and owner of thé China Directory.

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  • Rhea

    Interesting “study”. I think Babel will win, but it’d be awesome if Little Miss Sunshine stole the show. Also, I really hope Scorsese takes the directing nomination for Departed if it doesn’t get best picture.

    To be honest, I’m much more interested in seeing what happens if “An Inconvenient Truth” wins. I would love to see Al Gore’s traffic results in comparison to Obama and Clinton after tonight. It’d generate some terrific buzz for a late bid for the presidency…

  • Loren Baker, Editor

    Nice write up and examples from Google Trends Gemme!

    Babel was a cross cultural masterpiece, and it deserves many Oscars.

  • Loren Baker, Editor

    Looks like Google Trends was a bit off, The Departed won Best Film.

  • Arnaud Fischer

    Gemme, awesome coverage; I also liked Marios’ WortTracker comment. Taking the opposite route, I looked at how social search and more specifically online sentiment analysis could predict – or not – the Oscars. At the end of the day, the wisdom of the blog crowds doesn’t dicate the winners to The Academy, although it is definitely a worthwhile, more transparent and democratic approach. I used reporting tools from Buzzmetrics’ blogpulse, IceRocket and Technorati in addition to Google trends. Not sure I got any closer than anybody else but the results are promising. There is so much noise in the data (babel, queen, …) that a more granular analysis of the online buzz would turn up a lot more and more precise insights, though.


  • Gemme

    Yep, Google was a bit off. The Departed was no.2 in the Trends so they came close.

    Nice article Arnoud, even more metrics used.

    Let’s see if we (or the tools) are better at predicting next year.