Santa And Search. What Do Search Engine Queries Tell You About Christmas In Your Country?
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Santa And Search. What Do Search Engine Queries Tell You About Christmas In Your Country?

We use Google and other search engines every day to help us find useful information, help us with our shopping, and much more. What we search for can be a good record of what is going on in our lives and minds at any given time. During the holiday seasons, it’s natural for our minds to switch to forthcoming celebrations. How is this reflected in our search queries?

Data Science specialists from ITMAGINATION decided it would be fun to analyze what people from different countries were searching for online in the run up to Christmas. What’s on people’s minds and how does it vary from country to country? The team at ITMAGINATION analyzed thousands of search queries from 50 different countries to find out. Łukasz Dylewski, Head of Data Science at ITMAGINATION, shares and explains the findings.

Fun festive findings

Xmas or Christmas? In most English-speaking countries, the term “xmas” is searched for more commonly than “Christmas”.

The three most-searched-for individuals are Jesus Christ, Father Christmas … and the Grinch.

In Sweden, the most-searched-for terms include vouchers, gift cards, “gingerbread house” and “Christmas town”.

In Russia, “mulled wine” is among the most-commonly-searched-for terms.

In Canada, searches including the term “maple” become more frequent. This suggests that Canadians either get super patriotic, super hungry for syrup or they’re looking for creative Christmas decorations that use the fabled maple tree or the maple-leaf shape.

In Brazil, “Christmas cards with Christmas wishes” is among the top 30 searched-for terms – it did not crack the top hundred in any other country studied.

Trees are important, but in different ways. In Poland, Sweden, Canada and Russia, internet searchers are looking specifically for the term “spruce” as they consider their Christmas tree options. In the United States of America (USA), the term “cedar” increases in frequency. In other countries, there is less focus on specific tree types and most people simply search for “Christmas tree”.

Carols and Christ reign in Poland, Ukraine, Columbia, Mexico and Spain. In these countries, searches for carols and for information about Jesus Christ are far more frequent than in other markets.

How did ITMAGINATION conduct this analysis of festive search queries?

The Data Science team at ITMAGINATION leaned heavily on Natural Language Processing (NLP). To start with, a selection of key words and ideas in English were identified that had associations with Christmas. To this, the team applied NLP Continuous Bag of Words (CBOW) and Skip-Ngram to find one thousand words that were close in meaning to the original selection. The result of this also identified song titles and dishes/recipes, which helped improve the topic categorization and accuracy of findings. All key phrases were translated into the native language of the markets being analyzed. Finally, we used data from Google Trends from the last five years and cross referenced it with approximately 10,000 queries frrom 50 countries. In this way, we were able to understand a little more about the festive spirit in countries as far away and varied as Venezuela, Japan, India and New Zealand.  For the purpose of the 2019 study, ITMAGINATION used data from Google for the month of December for the years 2014-2018.

Why did ITMAGINATION conduct this analysis?

The Data Science team at ITMAGINATION was keen to understand which topics occupied the hearts and minds of internet users in different countries around the world. Sure, there’s a bit of natural curiosity and fun at the heart of this exercise but it’s also important to remember that internet users are online shoppers or consumers of online services. As such, many businesses can benefit from knowing more about what’s important to their customers (existing and prospective) in the future. Knowing that internet users become more focused on Christmas carols or greetings cards could help you to optimize your online content during festive periods, it could give you ideas for festive-period advertising and it could help you optimize promotions or special offers in such a way that position your goods and services in the same mind space that your customers are in during this time of the year.

Get closer to your customers next Christmas, with ITMAGINATION

There are huge amounts of data being produced that could help you understand your customers better and empower you to make your goods and services more relevant to their wants and needs. With Data Science, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and many other new technologies, ITMAGINATION can empower you to build better, stronger relationships with your customers next Christmas.

Learn it. Know it. Done.

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