Google Trends 101 + Eleksyon2022

Personal Experiences Technology

Disclaimer muna:
Alam nyo naman siguro na #kakampink ako (via my socmed channels), pero I will try my best to remove the bias at magbigay ng simpleng info about the topic (Google Trends + PH 2022 Election) based on my limited experience sa Google Trends at SEO (search engine optimization)

Background:
Me mga tanong sa high school FB chatgroup ko about Google Trends at sa post ni Sen. Kiko Pangilinan tungkol sa latest Google Trends at PH 2022 Election (shoutout na rin ito sa mga Mascian batchmates ko 😀 ). Sinubukan ko sagutin ang mga tanong nila (re: Google Trends at PH election correlation) at pinost ko ang sagot sa FB ko pero limited audience. Useful daw sabi ng mga HS batchmates so posting it here sa Menardconnect.com.

This is a reaction post sa info na posted sa page ni Sen Kiko:

Image Credits: Sen. Kiko Pangilinan FB page

Overall, This is good news!!! Ibig sabihin nito mas mataas ang searches at engagements related to Leni at Kiko (versus the competition) via Google. Ibig sabihin mas maraming naghananap ng information about Leni at Kiko. Mas maraming search mas maraming interesado sa kandidato.

Ano ba yang Google Trends na yan?
Google Trends shows how popular yung term na sinearch mo sa Google. Mas maraming nagsearch, mas mataas sa Google Trends. Google Trends will also show data/statistics about the search term (example: related topics at related search queries). Kaya rin himayin ni Google kung saang country/geographic area/language yung search. At dahil Google dominates the search engine market (90+% market share) with estimated more than 3.5 million searches per day (noong 2021 ito) this is really helpful data sa election.

Si Google Trends merong good data/insights about the PH Elections (ito yung source cited sa post ni Sen Kiko Pangilinan sa taas)

Ano ibig sabihin nyan?

Try ko i-explain as simple as possible kung paano ba yang Google Trends na yan (pano nag wo-work, ano scope, etc):

Google always collect yung mga sini-search natin na terms/words (pag nag search ka via PC or phone/ internet browser or App) at pag marami ang nagse-search nung term na yun, malalagay sya sa Google Trends (trending/sikat na yung “term” na hinahanap mo).

For the sake of illustration here is a very simple example.
Halimbawa: meron 1000 na tao na nagsearch sa google at tig-iisang search lang na related sa PH Presidential candidate for that period of time, makukuha natin yung percentage ng nagsearch. Like sa Presidentiables:

Image Credits: Google Trends

Ang simple explanation nito ay:

  • 550 ang nagsearch ke Leni,
  • 240 ke MarcosJr,
  • 100 ke Isko,
  • 80 ke Pacquiao,
  • 30 ke Lacson

Mas complex yan sa totoong buhay kase marami yung data ni Google (over 3.5 million searches per day nga di ba?) at marami pang ibang datapoint ang pagkukuhaan at i-correlate ni Google (IP addresses, browser, geo location, cookies, atbp.)

Does that translate to peoples’ preference to vote for a particular candidate?
Highly possible. Me mga research sa US (at sa ibang bansa pa), na Google Trends is aligned sa voter’s reference/election results/prediction (see sample research here).

As of writing, sa Pilipinas wala pa akong nakikita at na-analyze na research na ganito (or baka nde ko pa lang nakikita/nababasa). Pero dahil halos same lang naman ang pag-function ng internet searches sa buong mundo, this is highly possible sa Pilipinas setting.

Note: Highly possible ha at hindi absolute na yan ang mangyayari. (see my list of caveats sa dulo ng post)

Bakit ginagawa ito ng Google?

Isa po sa major business ng Google ay ang online advertisement (Online Ads, Google Adsense, oo yung mga nakikita mong ads sa mga websites) so meron silang napalalaking at napakalawak na data about Google searches (Big data ang tawag po dito). Google shares this data together with other insights via Google Trends

Pwede bang i-maninipulate yang data na yan?

Say mag search ako ng 1000 times about Candidate X, tataas ba ranking ni Candidate X sa Google Trends?

Theoretically possible, pero mahirap ito i-manipulate. Bakit? Sa aking opinyon kase e magaling si Google (vs. you). Why?
1. Alam ni Google kung ano yung organic (legit na search) vs automated/suspicious/fraudulent na search (core business po nila ang internet Search)
2. Maraming data points/factors ang kinoconsider si Google bago nila ilagay sa Google Trends
3. Gumagamit si Google ng Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) para maanalyze ito ng maayos
4. Google Search data is considered BIG DATA. Big data refers to data sets that are too large or complex to be dealt with by traditional data-processing application software.

Sure ka ba sa pinagsasabi mong explanation sa taas Menard?
Guys and gals, USD 147 Billion ang revenue ng Google Ads nung Y2020 (source), pag ganyang kalaki value/revenue poprotektahan yan ni Google kase nga cash cow nila yan. Malaking pera ang mawawala sa kanila pag yan e namanipulate lang ng basta basta.

Ok balik naman tayo PH 2022 Election connection nya.

Hindi lang sya (Google Trends) ang basehan, pero isang good indicator ito. Pero syempre hindi ito fool proof.

Naglista ako ng mga caveats (warning/disclaimer/reminder) about Google Trends in relation sa PH 2022 Election:
1. Take note Google Trends is all about Google Search data. Hindi kasama si Facebook. At malaki ang share ni FB sa internet time/consumption ng mga Pinoy.
2. Malaking data yung Facebook Search and Insights (c/o FB/Meta ibang kumpanya po ito at hindi under Google). Pero hindi ako sure kung meron ganitong data na available (publicly at free) si Facebook.

3. On Facebook data. Proven na na-mamanipulate ito ng mga bad actors (Kaway kaway daw tayo kila Cambridge Analytica (CA)). Tapos _HINDI_ readily accessible/ hindi open yung FB data sa lahat (Google Trends data is more accessible imho).

4. In my observation: Yung Google Search Data mabilis nilang nacocorrect/rectify (ng Google) kase me vested interest si Google na dapat malinis ang google searches and results (against fraud, blackhat SEO, illegal products na bawal sa adsense, etc). Bakit? kase malaking financial loss sa Google pag namanipulate yung results na yan.

5. Ang kaibahan nitong Google Trends sa Facebook data (as the Cambridge Analytica incident showed us) matagal sila (FB) mag-ayos at maglinis ng data, at minsan mas like nila na manipulated (or pedeng ma-manipulate) yung data kase mas malaki ang kita nila dun.

6. Internet penetration/user base/usage priority sa Pinas. Hindi pa rin lahat ng Filipino voters ay mayroong good internet access. At kung me internet access man, ginagamit kaya natin ito sa research/google search? (Imho: baka mauuna muna mag Facebook, Tiktok at games  (priority ng paggamit ng internet) ang mga normal user PH user, tapos yung research at google searching nasa dulo ng priority).

Sa ganang akin, hindi pa tapos ang laban, need nating magtulungan at i-convert itong search, click at engagements na ito sa actual na BOTO sa Mayo 9.

Kagaya ng sinabi ni Sen. Kiko Pangilinan sa page nya  “LET’S TURN SEARCH AND CLICKS INTO VOTES!”

IPANALO NA NATIN ITO!

In my honest opinion, isang indicator lang ang Google Trends and this is positive at good news para sa ating mga #Kakampinks. Pero huwag tayong kampante. Tuloy tuloy pa rin dapat ang efforts sa campaign hanggang sa dulo.

Tandaan: Ang ating presidente: LENI ROBREDO!!! Bise Presidente: KIKO PANGILINAN!!!

#LeniKiko2022
#LeniKikoAllTheWay
#SaGobyernongTapatAngatBuhayLahat
#10LeniRobredo
#7KikoPangilinanVicePresident

References:

  • https://www.facebook.com/officialkikopangilinan/posts/556491882503364
  • https://websitebuilder.org/blog/how-many-google-searches-per-day-are-there/
  • https://www.researchgate.net/publication/347183968_Google_Trends_as_a_Predictor_of_Presidential_Elections_The_United_States_Versus_Canada
  • https://www.cnbc.com/2021/05/18/how-does-google-make-money-advertising-business-breakdown-.html
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_data
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Facebook%E2%80%93Cambridge_Analytica_data_scandal
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cambridge_Analytica

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