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WoW’s on Google Trends, pwning your internets May 23, 2007

Posted by Wilz in Gaming, Technology.
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iconwow.jpgBy now most people have probably heard things like the fact that World of Warcraft have 8 million players worldwide. Out of these, a more (or less?) than half of them are of the English speaking world – hailing from the United States, Europe, Malaysia and Singapore (Malaysia and Singapore’s clients are in English). And I think around 2-3 million are from the United States. What’s interesting is the question of how much impact these millions have on the internet world.

Well my question was semi-answered today when I came across this article that led me to the Google Trends website. Check this out (this is only for the USA) :

gtrendsthumb.gif

To give this information some context, yesterday was ‘patch day’ for World of Warcraft, where the much awaited Black Temple patch was released for the game. On patch day, WoW players will usually search for patch notes, information about new features released, and most of all, addon updates. Addons are these scripts that modify or provide additional functionality to the WoW game interface to enhance gameplay, written by various people, which you can download off various sites on the internet.

All of these terms : “klh threat meter, ct_mod, titan panel, x_perl, swstats” are names of World of Warcraft addons. The netherwing and netherdrake search terms are the names of two new mounts being introduced. If you click into the image to see the full top 100, “wow mods” happen to be at number 8. Going through the list, fully 45 – FORTY FIVE – out of the hundred most popular ‘rising searches’ today is related to wow. (You need to be a wow player who is anal about his addon collection to recognize the majority of the addon names in the list. Sadly, I recognize them all…)

It is also interesting to note that in the article I linked above, their screenshot showed a different set of rising search terms. My guess is that those were taken earlier on 22 May. Mine are most definitely taken late in the day. The moment WoW’s patch went live and the servers went down, WoW player’s searches rose to take over the chart.

Two important notes – one is that this doesn’t list the most popular searches of the day. That would be “britney spears” and “porn” hands down, on a daily basis. This list shows the latest rising trends, and demonstrates the searches which is ‘gaining prominence’ the most in a particular day. Second, it is important to note this isn’t exactly indicative of overall trends, just internet trends. World of Warcraft players are naturally computer users, and those who use addons are typically more computer savvy, and would know how to utilize search tools exhaustively as opposed to other topics any random netizen may be thinking about.

However, it’s still quite significant when you think about it, considering that the majority of Internet users are from the States. Changing the date on the trends page reveals previous days where rising search trends are generally distributed across a multitude of topics, ranging from news, fashion, star trek, to things Oprah said on her show, triggered by a myriad of events and trends. But a single event – the release of a WoW patch, conquers nearly 50% of the rising trends of searches on Google for the USA. It kinds of puts the ‘millions’ of WoW players into perspective…

/boggle

P/S On May 19 Starcraft 2′s announcement made Starcraft 2 the 5th major search term, losing to some horse gambling search.

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