Google Search Volume for TV Shows in 2012

     Trendrr recently released a list of the TV shows with the Most Social Buzz in 2012. The shows on this list received the most comments on twitter, Facebook (public), GetGlue and Viggle. Out of curiosity, I decided to take a look at the total keyword search volume for each of TV show on Trendrr’s list. To do this, I used Google’s AdWords platform, which allows users to search based on language, location and device.  Below are my findings:


    This table hints that there is almost as much activity(approximately 170 million) about TV shows from Google search volume as there is from Social Media & Social TV apps. It is important to note that some of these searches may not have been promoted by a broadcast of one of these shows. For example, some fans have googled a show to find out how to watch full episodes online. However, as we will see below, there is a sizable correlation between the search volume and when a show is broadcasted. 

Search volume for sample TV shows

How do can we know that this search traffic is driven by the actual TV shows?  To answer this question, I took a look at the Google trends for some of these TV shows:




     Overall there was much more search volume for all these shows during their respective in seasons than in their off-seasons. This means that a considerable amount of this traffic must have been driven by television. 

      Based on this study, I think that the future of social TV ratings and analytics will incorporate google search volume. What do you think?


Below I detail a bit more about my methodology in this mini-study:

  • Google AdWords only gives monthly search volume. I multiplied this by a number between 1 and 6, depending on how long the show has been on air. For example, “The Voice” ran from February to May and from September to December, so it’s monthly search volume (5 million) is multiplied by 6. This results in 30 million searches 2012. 
  • I only looked at search volume from mobile devices to mirror the second screen aspect of TV as much as possible. 
  • I only used “Local Monthly Searches”, which narrow results down to the US & looks in the TV Shows category. 
Twitter me with questions & comments @javaughn12.