Thursday, 7 May 2009

Eurovision Google predictor tool - using Search data to predict the Eurovision Song Contest result!

UPDATE 2010 - Eurovision 2010 Google Predictor tool

UPDATE 17/05/09
: Norway wins a landslide Eurovision victory, Google gets it right!

John Battelle describes a search engine as a 'database of intentions' offering 'a place holder for the intentions of humankind - a massive database of desires, needs, wants, and likes.' Tuning into this data can therefore potentially identify front runners for popular competitions where public voting determines the outcome. However, Bill Tancer from Hitwise has had mixed success in predicting American Idol results and last year I failed in my attempt to use internet data (Search volumes, YouTube views etc) to predict the Eurovision Song Contest winner for 2008.

Eurovision 2009 logoEurovision Song Contest 2009 logo

The Eurovision Song Contest is a massive European event with the majority of European countries entering an act and then phone voting to establish the Eurovision winner. The voting is often controversial (with tactical voting and politics coming into play) and even though a jury mechanic has been introduced for the Eurovision 2009 vote, it should still be possible to make some predictions using Search data.

For the Eurovision Song Contest 2009 Google have made analysing Eurovision Search data easy by introducing a Google Eurovision 2009 Predictor gadget.

Google Eurovision 2009 predictor gadgetThe Google Eurovision 2009 predictor gadget (click for larger image)

The Google Eurovision gadget is also embeddable and 'based on Google search data, it shows how popular each Eurovision participant is and then calculates the scores they would get if the voting took place today':

All the names in the Google Eurovision Predictor gadget have links to the relevant YouTube video which is hosted on the official Eurovision Song Contest YouTube channel.

So the current Eurovision front runner on Google is Alexander Rybak from Norway with his song 'Fairytale' but this is only an indication! (The jury vote can't be predicted and significant search volumes in Eastern Europe occur on non-Google search engines like Yandex.)

It will be interesting to see how close the Google Eurovision result is to the actual outcome, but this is a great example of how data can be used to try and give pre-event insight into potential public behaviour. This would obviously be even more powerful if social data was included and married to search data from all search engines!

Hat tip Andrew McCormick / Brand Republic

Related posts
Tracking the Eurovision Twitter noise
Predicting the Eurovision result using internet data
Eurovision bring back jury voting - the wisdom isn't always in the crowd

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atul chatterjee said...

This is also telling on Google Trends and other Google predictor engines. It probably means that the data being picked up is not complete. Unless there is a narrow margin between victors past data should be a good indicator or the results of the contest.

Anonymous said...

well; clearly that is rubbish. Everyone knows that UK will get nul points from certain selected countries and no amt of pseudo analytic insight on the basis of vid views is going to change that.
Tactics, m'dear, tactics...

malcolm coles said...

Did you used to have a video here? A search on eurovision 2009 google shows this as a video result...
Anyway, I reached the opposite conclusion to you - that Google wasn't doing that good a job (Norway were red hot favourites at the bookies, so getting that right doesn't seem particularly impressive to me):