Americans are more interested in learning about the Occupy Wall Street movement than the Tea Party, according to Google's recent analysis of searches performed in the United States.
In a post on its Politics and Elections blog, Google said that its examination of search patterns for the terms "Tea Party" and "Occupy Wall Street" revealed that search interest in Occupy Wall Street is currently higher than for the Tea Party.
This trend could be explained in part by the relative newness of the Occupy Wall Street movement, which started gaining traction in mid-September when protestors took to lower Manhattan, around two years after the Tea Party protests began.
Yet Google also found that when it compared searches for the two terms over the lifetime of the groups, search interest for the Occupy Wall Street Movement was slightly higher than for the Tea Party. (See more charts and data from Google here)
"Search interest for [Occupy Wall Street] jumped ahead of the [Tea Party] on September 24, and hasn't looked back," Google wrote. "In a historical context, when viewing the snapshot of their nascent birth, we can see the peak of [Occupy Wall Street] has slightly more interest in American than searches for the [Tea Party] did during the groups [sic] peak in 2009."
Searches for Occupy Wall Street have declined since their peak on October 15 and the greatest number of queries are coming Vermont, Oregon and New York, Google found.
According to Google, the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street Movement are in "almost in a dead heat" for volume of media coverage: in the two weeks following October 7, 22,000 and 29,000 news articles were written about the two groups, respectively.
Research from NMIncite released on October 19 found that online buzz about Occupy Wall Street peaked on October 6, more than a week before Google recorded a peak in queries for the term, then again on October 10. An analysis of tweets sent about the movement revealed that 22 percent of the posts on Twitter were from people expressing support for the movement, while 11 percent were from people critical of the cause.
Reuters, with help from SocialFlow and Trendistic, tracked down the first tweet sent with the hashtag "#OccupyWallStreet" to a post from Adbusters sent July 13.
"Trendistic, which tracks hashtag trends on Twitter, shows that OccupyWallStreet first showed up in any volume around 11 p.m. on September 16, the evening before the occupation of lower Manhattan's Zuccotti Park began," Reuters writes. "Within 24 hours, the tag represented nearly 1 of every 500 uses of a hashtag."