The 2012 Olympics are being hailed as the “first social Games” — but looking at old-fashioned search terms is just as fascinating as following the online conversation.
Would you have guessed that soccer was actually the most-searched sport in the U.S. the week before the Games? Even though most nations are not sending their best soccer players to the Olympics, the beautiful game grabbed more than 12% of all Olympic sport-related queries.
Next up were swimming, track and field, basketball and gymnastics.
But interest varies by area. Women’s soccer drew the most searches on the West Coast, as well as the Northeast and South Atlantic regions. In the central South and Rocky Mountain areas of the country, as well as Alaska and Hawaii, the Games’ opening ceremony ruled supreme.
Midwesterners were the only population segment to search for swimming more than any other sport.
Also of interest: the Midwest and central South regions seem to be especially randy — they are the only two regions to have “hottest Olympic athletes” rank in their top five search topics.
This is according to a study by online advertising and data analytics firm Chitika Insights. The company analyzed more than a hundred million ad impressions to gather the data presented in the infographic below.
Among other interesting findings: more than a third of 2012 Olympics searches were made from mobile devices; more than four in five searches came from a PC; New York had the most disproportionate interest in the Games relative to population; and Arkansas, New Mexico and Missouri had the most disinterest.