Last April, I stumbled on data nobody seems to have noticed or even reported as a story. The data came from Google’s Insights for Search. The amazing data came from my random search for “love,” “in love,” “out of love” and “broken heart” in the Google tool. No need for any Freudian readings into it, just one word that is as popular as the other four-letter word these days: free. The results amazed me. It all pointed to one country: The Philippines.
I monitored the findings for three months before finalizing the story, even if the parameters point to the findings dating back to 2004. Then I pitched it for one whole month to the presses. Even to the New York Times Mag’s “Phenomenon” section, confident as I was because a growing trend in Japan was featured in a recent article. No responses. Time passed. I sent it to my former employer-pub. They kept it on hold over a month before publishing it this month, less 1/4 of it for space considerations. The figures changed. For the exact word, “love,” the Philippines went down a notch. Otherwise, the entire searches for love’s other various permutations were still correct.
I listed the time frame of my findings in the piece, but this was edited out. For space considerations. Still, I consider the story and the idea behind Google’s search tool a happy accident. I have been using Google’s Insights for Search more often now, as a tool even writers can use when thinking of a story to write about.
Here’s the link to the story, “Believe it or not, RP is Love Central.”–dennis clemente