FREAKquel: Has 9/11 Diminished Pearl Harbor?

Yesterday, after posting this item wondering whether 9/11 had begun to diminish our collective remembrance of Pearl Harbor Day, I wrote to Bill Tancer of Hitwise.com. I asked Bill to take a look at his search-query data for any insights into this subject. Here’s his reply:

Unfortunately, I only have access to 24 mo. of historical data. However, the question is fascinating so I charted the volume of searches in the U.S. for the two terms “pearl harbor” and “9/11″:

Using our search term analysis, I can analyze where people go when they search on the term “pearl harbor” listed below (for week ending 12/07/2006):

I also decided to check out that spike in “9/11″ that happened this September.

So to answer your question, with the exception of the week of 9/11, “pearl harbor” searches continue to exceed “9/11″ queries.

I am a bit surprised by this, and am guessing that if we included searches for “september 11″ and “world trade center” along with “9/11,” the story might be different. I am even more surprised that Wikipedia got more 9/11 traffic than CNN.com, BBC.com, and Time.com combined.

Thanks, Bill.

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  1. mwpowers says:

    I bet it’s because history classes in high school & below often require some sort of an assignment on World War II or Pearl Harbor specifically. Do schools teach about 9/11? When I was in school during the 90′s, I don’t think we ever covered anything extensively past WWII. Vietnam was not covered much at all, and I didn’t know what the term “cold war” referred to until I was about 16, though I did know the Soviets were the bad guys for some reason thanks to Rockie 4 and other movies.

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  2. mwpowers says:

    I bet it’s because history classes in high school & below often require some sort of an assignment on World War II or Pearl Harbor specifically. Do schools teach about 9/11? When I was in school during the 90′s, I don’t think we ever covered anything extensively past WWII. Vietnam was not covered much at all, and I didn’t know what the term “cold war” referred to until I was about 16, though I did know the Soviets were the bad guys for some reason thanks to Rockie 4 and other movies.

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  3. Garry says:

    Could it be that there are many search terms for “September 11, 2001″, e.g., not only 9/11 but also “9-11″ and even the simple “911″ (the top hits pertain to the day and not to the emergency telephone number). It appears that the analysis used only “9/11″. I did a search using the 911 and 9-11 and they worked quite nicely.

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  4. Garry says:

    Could it be that there are many search terms for “September 11, 2001″, e.g., not only 9/11 but also “9-11″ and even the simple “911″ (the top hits pertain to the day and not to the emergency telephone number). It appears that the analysis used only “9/11″. I did a search using the 911 and 9-11 and they worked quite nicely.

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  5. ejp1082 says:

    Google doesn’t give hard numbers, but here’s the Trends analysis for the search terms “9/11″, “September 11″, “9-11″, and “911″.

    Not surprisingly, there’s an annual spike on the anniversary. “9/11″ is the most common search, and correlates pretty well with searches for “911″ – though the fact that 911 is an emergency number probably confounds it.

    Google Trends for 9/11 vs Pearl Harbor shows that 9/11 obliterated Pearl Harbor in 2004 – presumably that’s because it was such an election year issue though. 2005 has them roughly equal except around the respective anniversaries. 2006 has a *huge* spike for 9/11 queries on the anniversary… I can’t imagine why that would be though

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  6. ejp1082 says:

    Google doesn’t give hard numbers, but here’s the Trends analysis for the search terms “9/11″, “September 11″, “9-11″, and “911″.

    Not surprisingly, there’s an annual spike on the anniversary. “9/11″ is the most common search, and correlates pretty well with searches for “911″ – though the fact that 911 is an emergency number probably confounds it.

    Google Trends for 9/11 vs Pearl Harbor shows that 9/11 obliterated Pearl Harbor in 2004 – presumably that’s because it was such an election year issue though. 2005 has them roughly equal except around the respective anniversaries. 2006 has a *huge* spike for 9/11 queries on the anniversary… I can’t imagine why that would be though

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  7. ftelegdy says:

    I am even more surprised that Wikipedia got more 9/11 traffic than CNN.com, BBC.com, and Time.com combined.

    This is Google at work. A Google search for “9/11″…
    http://www.google.com/search?q=9%2F11
    …yields the following results (in order):

    1. september11news.com
    2. Wikipedia
    3. 911digitalarchive.org

    And that matches the Top 3 websites that received traffic.

    Two other sites (911research.wtc7.net and 911truth.org) also appear on the first page of Google results and in the top 10.

    It just goes to show that where your web site ranks on Google for particular search terms can be VERY important to your web site’s traffic.

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  8. ftelegdy says:

    I am even more surprised that Wikipedia got more 9/11 traffic than CNN.com, BBC.com, and Time.com combined.

    This is Google at work. A Google search for “9/11″…
    http://www.google.com/search?q=9%2F11
    …yields the following results (in order):

    1. september11news.com
    2. Wikipedia
    3. 911digitalarchive.org

    And that matches the Top 3 websites that received traffic.

    Two other sites (911research.wtc7.net and 911truth.org) also appear on the first page of Google results and in the top 10.

    It just goes to show that where your web site ranks on Google for particular search terms can be VERY important to your web site’s traffic.

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