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Communications of the ACM

ACM TechNews

Researchers Say Web Searches Are Good Predictors of Success

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Web searches are an indicator of the success of movies, games, and songs, according to a Yahoo! research group. The researchers collected data on the number of Web searches made on movies, games, and songs up to six weeks before their release, and compared the information to measures of success such as box office grosses and video game sales. They also compared the Web search data with traditional prediction indicators such as movie reviews, production budgets, critics' ratings, previous rankings on Billboard charts, and the Hollywood Stock Exchange.

Although the study found that traditional predictors were generally better, Web search data outperformed traditional predictors in the area of non-sequel video games. However, combining Web search data and traditional data resulted in the most accurate predictions. Web search data also is very useful when there is a sudden change in trends. Lead researcher Sharad Goel believes Web search data will become a key analysis tool as long as it remains available from search engines.

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Abstracts Copyright © 2010 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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