Guest Blogger: Googling the Inauguration

Browsing through the top 1,300 search terms in the U.S. that contained the word “inauguration” in the last four weeks provides unique insight into our Internet frame of mind surrounding the installation of our 44th President.

Based on the Internet behavior of 10 million Internet users captured by online research firm Hitwise, the most common category of searches containing the word “inauguration,” accounting for more than 22 percent of queries, are terms seeking general information about the upcoming ceremony. The most common question on searcher’s minds surrounds the date and time of President–elect Obama’s swearing in. With this weekend’s concert and upcoming ceremony, parades and inaugural balls, Internet searches reveal some confusion as to which event is the most historically significant.

Outperforming historical (“George Washington’s Inauguration”) and educational (“Inauguration lesson plans”) search missions, Internet data reveal that Obama’s swearing in will not escape controversy.

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