Last week was a record week for Google News in the United Kingdom, according to Hitwise UK—and largely because of celebrities missteps, tragedies and deaths.
The overall share for Google News UK jumped dramatically this week, from 46th most popular site to 28th most popular:
The perfect storm that contributed to this: “Google News UK was a top recipient for many of the most popular terms”:
- [Patrick Swayze] (who died)—GNUK was the second biggest recipient of UK searches—8.25% of traffic
- [Kanye West] (who lost his mind)—again, second biggest recipient—8.26%
- [Katie Price] (a model who admitted she had been raped by a celebrity)—third biggest—9.29
- [Keith Floyd] (who died)—fourth—5.28%
Most interesting, perhaps, is how much bigger this spike is than when Michael Jackson died (can you find it on the graph?). Here in the US, anyway, that was a much bigger deal in the media.
While I am very happy for Google News, and I’ma let them continue, I just want to say that when they benefit from so many tragedies, it almost makes Google News look like . . . well, vultures. But I guess it’s not their fault what people are searching for.
What do you think? Is covering celebrity tragedies a boon or a bane for Google News?