Google Insights for Search is a handy tool that helped the Mountain View, Calif.-based search engine predict last year’s Oscar winners by tracking search pattern behaviors, and the Internet giant has decided to test its service again with this year’s red carpet lineup.
The Academy Awards is the most popular entertainment award show in terms of search volume. The convolute of searches subsequently create a prime foundation for Googlers to analyze patterns. Google’s Rebecca Mall, an entertainment account executive, took to the Official Google Blog today to “open the (search) envelopes and see who the Oscar (may) go to this year,” according to Google Insight’s reaped Web information.
More information is available below.
The films that garnered Best Picture in earlier years have two common traits: An upward trend in search volume for at least four consecutive weeks, and the highest percentage of searches in the United States (originating from New York):
“Looking at search data for 2011, there were three films that satisfied these conditions—The King’s Speech, The Social Network and Black Swan. Our prediction was on the mark: The King’s Speech took home the Oscar in 2011,” wrote Mall.
Mall applied these two common aspects to Google Insights’ statistics and narrowed this year’s nominees to “The Artist,” “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close,” “Midnight in Paris,” and “War Horse.”
To predict the trophy winner, Mall reevaluated last year’s finalists. The winner was generally the “underdog” in search volume among the nominees. After applying this pattern to the 2010 and 2009 nominees for Best Picture, it was proven each time that the lower search volume candidate won the gold statue:
“If the underdog trend holds this year, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close could be our surprise winner. If we go strictly by search popularity, however, The Artist or Midnight in Paris have the best chances—among our group of four, they’re currently blowing the competition out of the water,” Mall contended.
Today’s Google blog post also reviewed the possible winners for Best Actor and Best Actress. Mall used several metrics, but she ultimately determined the the winner among the nominees for Best Actor was “generally in the middle of the pack in terms of searches.” The winner even held regular search volume results throughout the year. With those conditions in mind, Mall predicted Gary Oldman for “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” or George Clooney for “The Descendants“ may take home the acclaimed title.
Meanwhile, the winner for Best Actress in earlier years saw a leap in searches preceding December, and the most recent winners held robust regional interest in Los Angeles and New York City. Therefore, among this year’s nominees, Rooney Mara saw an increase in search volume last December for “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” Mall further elaborated:
However, it’s Meryl Streep who has the highest regional interest in NYC and while Rooney is popular in LA, she’s even more popular in San Francisco. So it could be her name that is announced when the envelope is opened—or not.
Google may not have direct access to the coveted names in those secret Oscar-winner envelopes, but the search engine certainly has algorithms and search technology to help make the most accurate Academy Award predictions ever. Before signing off, Mall reminded film buffs to visit Google+ for the latest Oscar buzz on the official +Oscars profile, or they can join a pre-Academy Awards hangout on the +Good Morning America profile.
The 84th Academy Awards Ceremony airs Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. EST on ABC.