The Search for Hugo Chavez

The Search for Hugo Chavez is now an international obsession. Is he alive? Is he dead? Is he a ripe vegetable named Maduro? (For those not familiar with Venezuela or Spanish, Nicolas Maduro is the man Chavez anointed to succeed him. Maduro is also a word meaning “ripe” in Spanish.)

The passing of Hugo Chavez will come as no surprise to my readers. On January 4, 2013, I predicted this outcome in Hugo Chavez is Dead. The consequences of my stories have led to an interesting phenomenon.

At theRevolutionCenter, over 70% of our searches in February had to do with Chavez. This was remarkable, it was unprecedented, and got me to thinking. How many people actually search for Hugo Chavez? To put this in perspective, Pope Benedict has over 1 billion followers.

In Google Trends, we compare who is more popular, Hugo Chavez or Pope Benedict.

Google Trends use a graphing system that shows the relative popularity of certain terms. The summary by Google, of how this all works, is described below.

“The numbers on the graph reflect how many searches have been done for a particular term, relative to the total number of searches done on Google over time. They don’t represent absolute search volume numbers, because the data is normalized and presented on a scale from 0-100. Each point on the graph is divided by the highest point, or 100. When we don’t have enough data, 0 is shown.”

Hugo Chavez received 55% of the search popularity

Since the start of this year, Hugo Chavez had a search volume of 25. The volume for Pope Benedict was 21.

What this means is, at the time or this writing, Hugo Chavez received 55% of the search popularity compared to 45% by Pope Benedict. In the annals of history, there were 15 Pope Benedicts, and 3 Antipope Benedicts. See Wikipedia here. However, I did not differentiate among the Benedicts when performing my Google Trends search.

Comparatively, there is only one Hugo Chavez.

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