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Nerdy Derby: What Do People Google During Derby Week?

2013 Derby shot via Wikimedia Commons
Steve Ryan/WIkimediaCommons
Kentucky Derby

When hundreds of thousands of people descend on Louisville for the Kentucky Derby, you can bet what they might be searching for while in town: good bourbon, good food, a good party or two, of course.

And that got us thinking: During Derby week, what do people search for online?

To answer our question, we turned to Google's search term analyzer, Google Trends.

Any time you search for something in Google, information about your search is being recorded. Google records things like your location and what you searched for before and after your current search. Then, it takes all that data and provides over-time and location-based reports.

Because we are currently in the middle of Derby week and data for 2017 isn't yet available, we looked at Derby week searches from last year.

During Derby week 2016, we looked at:

1. What were people within Louisville searching for?
2. What were people around the country searching for in relation to Louisville and Derby?

A lot of what we found was expected: Googlers wanted to know what time Derby started, who the jockeys and the horses were, and what the weather was going to be like.

But some of the searches were a bit puzzling. Take a look:

Around the country, when people searched Derby-related terms, they mostly wanted to know specifics about the actual race — what time it begins, how to stream the broadcast, how to bet online, and so on. But, as you see below, there were some topics that stood out:

For the rest of the country, Derby is one day. But in Louisville, Derby is a week-long event:

  • Searches from Louisville remain higher in the week preceding Derby than they do from the United States as a whole.
  • While interest reaches a peak the day before Derby for both groups, the interest from Louisville really ramps up two days before Derby. #Thurby

And finally, here's a look at interest in the Kentucky Derby by state:

  • Most Derby searches came from Kentucky
  • Delaware, Rhode Island, Ohio, Connecticut, North Dakota, Maine, Indiana, New Hampshire, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Vermont, Nebraska, New Jersey, Wisconsin, Nevada perform the next-highest volume of Derby searches
  • Alaska, Idaho, Washington, California, Utah, Kansas, Hawaii and Oregon searched for Derby the least out of all the states

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