Current Google Insights trends: Andy Irons, elections, 'Black Ops'

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The Independent Tech

The tragic death of the young surfing champion Andy Irons, the American midterm elections and the highly anticipated video game Call of Duty: Black Ops were among the top Google Insights trends this past week.


News of the death of professional surfer and three-time world champion Andy Irons led to breakout levels of searches for the 32-year-old's name. A Hawaiian native, Andy Irons was regarded by many as the best surfer in the world. News is circulating that his death was related to the deadly viral disease dengue fever.

Following the American mid-term elections last week the search terms "election results 2010" and "election results" were the second and third search terms with the most significant increase. The American Republican party made significant gains in the elections and now has a majority in the House of Representatives. Many environmental groups have responded negatively to these results, uncertain of what impact they will have on Democratic President Barack Obama's "green" campaign pledges.

American politics were also the subject of the search term "prop 19." The proposition by the state of California was intended to legalize various marijuana related activities but, despite gaining a large amount of public support, was ultimately defeated in the Senate.

Known as the "festival of lights," Diwali is the most important yearly celebration for the Hindus and the fifth most popular search term. This year the five-day-long festival culminated with celebrations around the world on Friday, November 5.

Highly anticipated video game Black Ops, to be released November 9, once again appears in Google Insights trends. In this latest installment of the Call of Duty series, players assume the role of a Special Forces soldier during the Cold War period. A key feature of Black Ops is the increased ability for gamers to customize their character.  

The search terms with the most significant growth worldwide in the last seven days as measured by Google Insights, recorded on November 8 at 9:30 AM GMT, are:

1.       andy irons (breakout*)
2.       election results 2010 (+1,550%)
3.       election results (+1,400%)
4.       prop 19 (+1,000%)
5.       diwali (+450%)
6.       black ops (+100%)
7.       lil wayne (+100%)
8.       fox news (+90%)
9.       tfl (+90%)
10.     e okul (+60%)

*Breakout defines a search term that has experienced a change in growth greater than 5,000 percent.