Bitcoin Is Once Again Trending Over Jesus

Bull market in Bitcoin crypto currency. Slovenia, December 1, 2018


Is the recent bitcoin rally an illusion or is it part of a larger price trend? It’s suddenly become a relevant question that is making its mark on Google Trends. Bitcoin is once again trending over Jesus when it comes to search interest worldwide and in the United States. This sudden spike in interest comes as the price of bitcoin rallies to some of levels seen in 2017 and 2018, right after bitcoin first passed Jesus in Google search interest for the first time.

Bitcoin trends over Jesus in Google Trends, author screenshot

Author screenshot

One of the leading indicators used to predict some economic outcomes has become Google search history, which can be encapsulated in Google Trends. Google and its chief economist Hal Varian once released a paper that described how searches for jobs and unemployment category keywords could predict for initial claims for unemployment benefits — which are then used as a larger indicator for the health of an economy and whether or not a recession is coming.

Hal Varian and his team were able to demonstrate some positive correlation between Google Trends data and the number of initial claims that were made, even predicting for an unexpected drop in claims from the consensus by economic experts by looking at Google Trends for unemployment and job searches pointing downwards before initial claims came in. This same trend was a globalized phenomenon, with similar results being demonstrated by researchers in Germany and Israel.

It makes sense that in a digitized economy, that attention expressed in digital searches could be leading indicators of user and consumer behavior: after all, that’s what the billions of dollars in digital ad spend caters to. What we search in aggregate is a reflection of where we place our attention in an environment where attention is scarce and ever more precious.


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