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back to article GooFlu searches for sickness

Google's philanthropic tentacle, google.org, has found a strong correlation between official data on influenza from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the number of people searching for flu information on google.com. Google Trends collects the 100 most popular searches on Google.com. Many of these entries reflect …

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Anonymous Coward

RE: GooFlu searches for sickness

So are people searching for a cure for their symptoms or are they researching 'flu symptoms to make it more convincing when they take a "sickie"?

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Gold badge

Oooo, cool!

Just had a quick butcher's at their "Top 100".

"Insomnia cookies" is indeed at number 2. Drilling down gives this very article as the 4th link though(!), so there's something seafood-related going on here. Still got no idea WTF they are. The top link (insomniacookies.com no less, who'd have guessed?) is fubar, although I'm fairly convinced it's biscuit related and nothing to do with the more usual web cruft.

Funnily enough today, "sperm donor" clocks in at 40 and "sperm donation" at 49. This, coupled with the aforementioned need to filter out the porn star searches, means that the most obvious conclusion to be drawn from all this data is that there must be a lot of wankers using google at the moment.

The other interesting thing is how much the top 100 changes from day-to-day. Google's "hive mind" seems to be full of butterflies rather than bees.

Couldn't see any anime stuff making the top 100 though. Are you just having a gratuitous poke at the Otaku here?

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Linux

one dead swan = false positive

Heh, all it would take is one dead swan on some British waterway and you've got a false positive as UK searches on flu rise, whipped to a frenzy by media coverage.

So are the CDC warnings based on Doctor visits/findings? That would seem a more scare proof and authentic indicator.

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Silver badge
Happy

GoogleBombing the Medical System

Sounds like a pharmaceutical salesman's wet dream.

1) Get tame bot network to massivley google for medical condition

2) CDC tell docs to stock up on meds for coming epidemic

3) Profit!

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Boffin

Insomnia Cookies is back up

... apparently it is a site that sells fresh cookies to students that are up late studying at several major campuses around the US. Also they apparently have other insomnia related news and shwag, but my interest tuckered out around then.

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Alternate explanation

Of course, this could indicate that using Google as a search engine gives people the flu?

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