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Royal Wedding: Searching for Insights on Google, Bing, Yahoo

Danny Goodwin
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The overhyped Royal Wedding of Prince William and Catherine "Kate" Middleton is tomorrow, April 29, 2011 at 6 a.m. ET, with an expected viewing audience of up to 2 billion -- mainly, because it'll be just about impossible to avoid it with all the news coverage (and, yes, we're guilty of it too)!

Google will have a part in it, as the mega event will be streamed live via YouTube on the Royal Channel.

A study by Greenlight determined that the wedding was generating 9,000 online mentions per day, or one mention every 10 seconds. The major sources of traffic:

  • News sites: 30 percent
  • Blogs: 29 percent
  • Twitter: 17 percent
  • Facebook: 8 percent
  • YouTube: 1 percent

Adding to that study is an interesting statistic from Google: that 162 million web pages mention the royal wedding. And this one from Bing: that the search engine is indexing 7 million news stories on the royal wedding per day.

Google's Royal Wedding

Google in March announced that it is powering the search results for the Official Royal Wedding site. The Royal Channel site today appears in a special ceremonial OneBox by Google when you do a search for [royal wedding]:

royal-wedding.png

Google's related searches at the top of the page include [royal wedding coverage] and [royal wedding guest list], while the bottom adds six more: [royal wedding soundtrack]; [prince william]; [royal wedding dresses]; [peter phillips wedding]; [swedish royal wedding]; and [royal wedding prince william].

One surprise is that news for the royal wedding isn't higher in Google's results, as it is on Bing and Yahoo.

Google Insights for Search: The Royal Wedding

insights-royal-wedding.png

With all those expected viewers, no doubt Google can provide some insights for what searchers are most interested about regarding the royal wedding. As the chart above shows, royal wedding searches have spiked this month.

And here are the top and rising searches:

royal-wedding-searches.png

Some other hot wedding searches, according Google stats reported by CNNMoney:

  • Sapphire engagement ring (the style of Kate's engagement ring) +50 percent in the last year.
  • The Fascinator hat (Kate's odd feather, bead, and flower headpiece) +50 percent since January.
  • Fruitcake +25 percent in the last month.
  • Wedding tiara +70 percent in the last year.
  • Kate's trenchcoat (Burberry) +40 percent in past two months.
  • Issa dress +10 percent since February
  • Royal wedding party +60 percent
  • Pimms, crumpets, and rashers +15-20 percent.
  • Kate's wedding dress +50 percent in the past month.
  • Royal honeymoon +50 percent.

UK vs. U.S. Search Interest

royal-wedding-regional-interest.png

By far the highest search volume comes from the UK, with Ireland not too far behind. Interestingly, there are more searches about the wedding from New Zealand, Canada, Australia, and South Africa than the U.S.

But more noteworthy is the that the U.S. has outdone the UK on news coverage -- with more than twice the coverage of the UK and Australia, according to Nielsen:

nielsen-royal-wedding-coverage.jpg

The same is true on Twitter, where the U.S. also beat the UK 40 to 31 percent for tweets about the royal wedding, with the most interest coming from smaller towns as opposed to big cities, according to Trendrr. The other countries tweeting most about the wedding: Canada (8 percent); Australia (6 percent); Indonesia (4 percent); and India (3 percent).

Experian Hitwise also has released stats on websites receiving traffic from royal wedding search terms:

hitwise-royal-wedding.png

The Royal Wedding on Bing & Yahoo

bing-westminster-abbey.png

Bing today is featuring a picture of Westminster Abbey, the site of tomorrow's wedding.

As for the results on Bing and Yahoo, the organic results are the same, since Bing powers Yahoo search. The difference is the use of the top of the page to link to various news stories and sites -- mainly in self-promotion.

Bing sends searchers to either MSN sites or Bing Image Search. Yahoo, meanwhile, looks very dated with their old school blue links which, aside from one BBC wedding guest link, all send you to Yahoo properties (Shine and Flickr). Nothing to see here.

However, Yahoo did provide an exhaustive list of royal wedding search trends, showing that Kate Middleton beat out the likes of Lady Gaga, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump. When, where, and time of the royal wedding, Kate's height, age, and diet, and even memorabilia (royal wedding T-shirts?) are among the numerous spiking searches.

And that's that. If you're watching - to use the Queen's English - one hopes that you enjoy the spectacle.


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