The X-Factor search experiment: Kandy Rain

On Thursday, in my first post on this blog, I explored the idea that by studying search trends you can pick an early winner of a a talent competition.

This was based on the book “Click” I have been reading, by Bill Tancer of Hitwise. He demonstrated how it was obvious Mark Ramprakash was going to win Strictly Come Dancing in 2006 several weeks before the final result based on search volumes.

I then applied this to the final 12 in X Factor, using Google Insights for Search. The result was that Kandy Rain were the most searched act over the last week  and concluded by saying:

So, following current search trends as listed by Google in the UK, the winner will be Kandy Rain, a group.

The same Kandy Rain who were the first to be booted off on tonight’s show. So while I’ve proved here that search engine popularity probably won’t ever become part of the process for someone selecting a winner at the bookies, has the theory that search engine popularity = votes on a show been proved wrong?

I’m tempted to argue that no, it hasn’t. At the end of the day, out of all of the acts, Kandy Rain had the back story most likely to be researched online – ex pole dancers and all that. And while there’s no doubt they were popular on Google, it’s certainly no substitute for  the ability to sing, as Kandy Rain proved tonight.

So, so far I’m tempted to say all I’ve proved is that it’s too early to rely on search popularity to pick a winner – which is why, later this week, I’m going to do it all over again and see what jumps out.

That might sound a bit indulgent, but I will be writing other stuff which might be of more interest, so please stick with me!

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