Fun Times With Google Correlate

We here at Olivia Waite enjoy nerdy things on the internet, especially things that help us do research faster/better/with pretty pictures. So we were pretty excited to hear about Google Correlate, a new tool that gives you data about search terms, both chronologically and geographically by US states. Let's be clear: I am not smart enough to use this tool to its full potential. But I like seeing where search terms congregate on a map, and so I try searching for "erotic romance."

And get: nothing.

A no-results page for a search on erotic romance in Google Correlate.This is disappointing. I'd been hoping this tool could tell me what states are more likely to search for "erotic romance." And then I was going to do some very targeted marketing, and feel all smart. Now I just feel like a pervert for writing erotic romance in the first place.

So I simplify, and search for romance.

Google Correlate results for search term "romance." Text reads: pokemon fire red / pokemon fire / the guy / my pokemon / pokemon game / mario paint / nintendogs chihuahua / pokemon trading / eevee / super mario 64 ds.What. The. Hell.

I search for "science fiction."

Google Correlate results for science fiction. Text reads: classic science fiction / science fiction magazine / larry niven / ringworld / frank herbert / science fiction series / firefly chinese / darwinia / precipice of darkness / science fiction movie. Wait, you mean science fiction is a thing normal people are all into and searching for and romance isn't even invited to the party? This is not ever a perspective I have seen before. I'm shocked, I tell you—shocked!

Maybe it just needs something more granular. I search for "nora roberts."

Google Correlate results for nora roberts. Text reads: nora roberts books / nora roberts book list / my ding a ling / fern michaels sisterhood / one hot momma / hook laptop to tv / free computer backgrounds / crohn's disease symptoms / bladder symptoms / short curly hairstyle.

… Okay. Some of those are actually related. But … "my ding a ling"?

It becomes clear that I really have no idea what's going on here, and because I was thinking about Hunger Games I did one last search, for "dystopian."

A list of results in Google Correlate when the term "dystopian" is entered. Text reads: chocolate ganache recipe / frigidaire front loader / debris hut / front loader / songs to wear pants to / pork pot pie / we-re going to be friends lyrics / behind the name / roman city / unicorn lyrics. Anybody who can explain this list to me gets a medal.