Monday, January 18, 2010
Is sailing in decline? Google Trends thinks so.
Google Trends is a tool that allows you to see how the number of searches on Google for any term is changing over time. As you can see from the top line in the graph above the volume of searches for "sailing" shows a pronounced seasonal variation, but there is also a clear long-term downward trend in the search volume from 2004 through 2009.
Click on either of the boxes above or here to see the actual graphs on Google Trends. Note this graph is for the United States only but the worldwide trend chart is very similar.
Is there any reason to believe that the number of searches for "sailing" is not correlated closely with actual interest in sailing?
I checked out a few other sports, just for comparisons...
Kayaking shows a slight decline, but nothing like as bad as sailing.
Skiing's seasonal peak in 2009 is at about 50% of its 2004 peak, just like sailing.
Golf is pretty steady with maybe a bit of a drop-off in 2009.
And swimming shows a slight long term decline, but with big peaks of interest in the Olympic years.
Of course these charts combine the searches made by people interested in actively participating in these sports and those made by folk who are simply spectators of the sport.
But still... sailing looks pretty sad. Do any of you sailors out there have a rationale to explain this away or, even better, why it's really a good thing?
Where's the rum?
Posted by Tillerman at 11:08 AM