Resolutions and Search Trends

January 1st, 2013

Every New Year, people make resolutions to better themselves. It’s great that people use the holiday as a catalyst, but it seems like most resolutions are not very long lived, e.g. the gym is always more crowded in Jan than June.

I thought it would be interesting to see this phenomenon in a less anecdotal light. I started messing with Google Trends and found the data to be as I suspected: huge spikes for most new-years-resolutiony terms. It was also interesting to see how similar the trends were for some terms were year over year.

I also compared the search traffic for each term in January with the year round search traffic for that term. The term that I found with the largest Jan vs rest of year average traffic difference was ‘get organized’ with 1.52 times more search traffic in January.

I graphed the search trends of some new-years-resolutiony terms with d3.js:

Mouseover a label to highlight a specific term

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Raw data collected via Google Trends

All the best in 2013!