Fun with Google trends


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bdgackle
January 23, 2013, 12:04 AM
For those of you not familiar, Google Trends is a tool that let's you see search terms as a percentage of total search volume over time. It is great for spotting trends, fads, etc. It will also let you see popularity by country, state, even county for sufficiently popular terms.

I thought it might be fun to use it to observe the current buying panic. I tried "5.56", "ammo", "ar-15", and a few others. All show a sharp peak in early January, but are falling off. Looks like we might be almost out of the woods, if nothing else changes. "22 lr" isn't falling off just yet, though.

Geographic variations are interesting as well. Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Alaska, Oklahoma all seem to be more attached to their guns than average. Interestingly, though, if you check the term "assault weapon", those states are a giant blank spot. Apparently, this is not a common synonym for "AR-15" in the local vernacular.

One word of caution: "AR" is also the postal abbreviation for Arkansas. Took me a minute to figure out why folks in that state have more interest "AR magazines" than the rest of the country combined.

In any case, it is a fun toy. If anyone else finds interesting trends, feel free to share.

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gspn
January 23, 2013, 01:00 AM
That is fun. The term "sham wow" peaked in April of 2009.

Thanks for the heads up...interesting implications.

bdgackle
January 23, 2013, 01:42 AM
A couple more: Most caliber names are highly cyclical - peaks at Christmas? Or maybe hunting season? "5.56 NATO" and "7.62x39" are exceptions to this pattern.

Wondered if 6.8SPC is slowly dying? 6.5 Grendel? Both seem to slowly be gaining interest. 243 WSSM? Not so much - more interest mid-2000's than now.

"AR-15" interest peaks every four years. Due to leap years? Yeah, that MUST be the reason.

Finally: Aurora and now are the ONLY real national attention Feinstein has gotten in the last 8 years. This time is different, at least in the amount of attention that particular politician has gotten. Maybe she's making a play for national office of some kind? Or maybe she has just gotten more attention from us?

Kiln
January 23, 2013, 01:57 AM
One word of caution: "AR" is also the postal abbreviation for Arkansas. Took me a minute to figure out why folks in that state have more interest "AR magazines" than the rest of the country combined.
It isn't because of the abbreviation, it is because we love our guns so much. ;)

gunNoob
January 23, 2013, 08:08 AM
Interesting how "what is an ar15" went to 95-100 for the first time in Dec and Jan. Nobody knew what it was before that...

radiotom
January 23, 2013, 10:00 AM
I punched in "223 ammo" and its still going up.

http://www.google.com/trends/explore#q=223%20ammo

RetiredUSNChief
January 23, 2013, 10:03 AM
I broke it!

I typed in the first thing that came to mind (boogers) and this is what I got in return:

An error has been detected

You have reached your quota limit. Please try again later.

:evil:


EDIT:

Just tried a less silly search and it worked just fine! We can all breath a sigh of relief...Google Trends seems to be working OK now!

:):)

Old Fuff
January 23, 2013, 10:26 AM
Sales of AR15 rifles and related magazines are obviously going down because most of the available supply has been sold. I would expect sales to be flat until the manufacturers and distributors can fill the supply chain again.

bdgackle
January 23, 2013, 12:45 PM
Old Fuff - good point on sales. No inventory means no sales. This is only an indirect measure though. Do you think the inventory situation has gotten so bad that people aren't even looking anymore? That also seems like a reasonable hypothesis.

Gun Noob - that is a very interesting find. I would interpret that as meaning that a very large number of people who had never heard of the AR-15 became interested that day. That tells me that it is important to take action by gently and rationally educating people who don't know guns on what an AR-15 is and what it is not. I maintain that the best way to do this is get them to a range and hand them one. One trigger pull usually gets you from "scary" to "fun". Showing someone an "evil assault weapon bullet" (ie a 5.56x45 cartridge) next to a "deer hunting bullet" (ie a 30-06 cartridge) is also a nice teaching tool. Many people who were indifferent a month ago are not now... that is an opportunity for both sides of this debate. Our side has the advantage because we are the only ones that can offer a POSITIVE experience where guns are concerned. The antis have no equivalent of a fun day at the range.

Old Fuff
January 23, 2013, 12:53 PM
I am sure people are still looking - for guns, magazines, aammunition - you name it. But they have to do more to have Google log it as a trend. We won't know much until retailer are stocked again with the above. Then see what sales look like. Also if prices stay elevated sales will be less.

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