Football vs. Basketball
As a huge football and basketball fan, my interest in these sports doesn’t waver too much throughout the year. Still, I was curious to see what times of year these sports are at their most popular in the United States in terms of search interest.
Before looking at the results, I had expected search interest in basketball to be slightly increasing, and also anticipated March Madness and the NBA playoffs would coincide with a peak in basketball’s search interest. I expected football’s search interest to peak around the Super Bowl in early February and during the College Football bowl season in December and January.
I found that basketball’s search interest has indeed had a slight overall increase. What I did not quite expect was the magnitude of the rise in search popularity during the middle of March. This time period is right when the first few rounds of March Madness are taking place, so I guess it makes sense. Whether or not one is a basketball fan, it seems like everyone makes a bracket and tunes in for some of the “madness” during the early rounds of the tournament.
Following March Madness, basketball’s search popularity has had a huge drop off, and hasn’t experienced much if any bump from the NBA playoffs. It has begun to slowly pick up steam in November when both the NBA and NCAA basketball begin.
I found that the peak of football’s search interest has consistently come in early September, around the time that both the NFL and NCAA seasons get under way. The interest has then slowly fallen off, with a slight spike coming in late December/early January (presumably due to some big NCAA bowl games).
After this, the search interest has fallen quite a bit, even with the NFL playoffs going on. There has been a minor uptick in early February (Super Bowl). From March-July, search interest has been extremely low, but interest has begun to pick up again in August as the NCAA and NFL seasons grow closer.
The interesting difference between the football and basketball search results was that basketball’s clear peak was during the postseason (March Madness) and football’s was clearly around the start of the season.
Why is this the case? My best guess is that basketball, specifically college basketball, is all about the build up to the March Madness phenomenon. In comparison, I think football has much more build up for the start of the regular season. This might be due to the rise of Fantasy Sports and the fact that outside of baseball, American sports fans haven’t had too much to follow over the summer.
Canada vs. Mexico
The US presidential election dominated the news over the last year. I was curious about the search popularity of the terms “Mexico” and “Canada” as the election approached. I expected Mexico to have some search popularity due to Trump’s proposed wall, along with speculation about how a Trump election would impact the peso and Mexico’s economy. Regarding Canada, I had heard something about its search popularity spiking near the election, with people contemplating “moving to Canada” due to the election results.
I looked at the US google trends search results for Canada and Mexico over the past year. Mexico had higher search interest over the entire year, but the terms grew very close in early November (presidential election), when Canada had a huge search spike. This is probably the search spike I remembered hearing about.
Following the election, search interest for Canada has fallen off while Mexico’s has risen steadily. This makes sense, as there has been significant speculation as of late regarding the US’s relationship with Mexico.