Google Pegs Chicago's Top Searches of 2009

By Marcus Gilmer in Miscellaneous on Dec 1, 2009 3:40PM

2009_12_01_google.jpg With 2009 winding down, you'll see a lot of lists over the next several weeks: best movies, best music, etc. But what about what you searched for on the Internet? We've already shown how much we like fooling around with Google and the folks at Google have boiled it down for us and can show us what the top searches in a number of cities are. Now, before you look at the list and wonder about the absence of such popular searches as "Obama," "Michael Jackson," or "Chicagoist," Google removed those large, nationally oriented searches. According to Google:

"To compile these local lists, we found the most popular searches for each selected city and then ranked them based on how unique they were to that city. A query is "unique" if it is disproportionately popular in a particular city compared to the rest of the country. This method explains why popular local searches (for example, for a specific movie theatre) may appear higher than a term for which people across the country are searching (for example, for a regional sports team)."

As for other searches we thought may wind up in the list, such as "Chicago Tribune," or politicians such as Blago and Mayor Daley? Jake Parillo, who works for Google's Chicago office, explained:

They were weighted too heavily outside of the city (searchers for Blago are really from around the globe) or in the Tribune's case, most people don't search for it. They just type it in. Same with Daley. With the Olympics, he became a much bigger story. You can consider these lists almost 'hyper local' (that is such a buzz word, isn't it?). We looked to rank terms that were ONLY searched for in Chicago and put those in order. Also, these are 'fastest rising'. That's a way of saying that these jumped out this year more than other terms.

So what, then, are the top 10 local Chicago Google search terms of 2009?

  1. impact cps
  2. cta bus tracker
  3. second city cop
  4. rta trip planner
  5. southtown star
  6. metromix chicago
  7. harold washington college
  8. paws chicago
  9. chicago public library
  10. uic.edu