Do searches tell us something about politics?

HI-RES State of Nation election issues GOOGLECan you interpret anything into the volume of searches for a particular politician? That’s the question I’ve been pondering over my morning coffee.

Google has produced a nifty moving graph showing the number of searches being made on each part leader. It is certainly interesting on its face – but I can’t for the life of me work out if it means anything. I’m thinking that sheer volume is probably meaningless, there needs to be some qualitative element to give the content depth. That said, there’s something compelling in watching the lines rise and fall over time.

Luckily, Google also has some interesting infographics which shed a bit more depth on what people are searching for. Like the one to the left which shows that Victorians are concerned about health and the Northern Territory aren’t really worried about anything.

In the end my coffee-fueled conclusion is that this is all much like the parties’ policy announcements – big on presentation and numbers, but very light on meaningful content.

This all comes from Google’s new Election Hub.

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