The website Estately.com just released a snapshot of an article titled “What each state Googled more than any other state in 2016.” You can access it for yourself here: http://blog.estately.com/2016/12/what-each-state-googled-more-frequently-than-any-other-state-in-2016/
Using Google Trends, the team at Estately measured various search terms and how many times each state’s residents typed them into Google.
So yes, embarrassingly perhaps, South Carolina searched for “Lady Chablis,” the Savannah-based entertainer who passed away this year, more than any other state. While we’re not as academic or worldly as Oregon, whose residents were concerned with Syria; we’re also not The Volunteer State. Residents there were unduly worried about the rumored death of Mr. T. Don’t worry — he’s alive and well and apparently not in Tennessee.
What might provide a better snapshot for us locally is using Google Trends to see what is being Googled about Beaufort and by whom.
Looking at our town’s name being typed into Google over the past five years, we see a spike every July. Perhaps that’s locals and visitors alike checking the dates, times and talents lined up for the annual Water Festival. There was also a major spike this past October in online searches for Beaufort, meaning Matthew’s impact reached even into the interwebs.
In terms of sub-region, we are most popular among our fellow South Carolinians, at least when they’re not finding out about Lady Chablis. Nearby Georgians, Floridians and North Carolinians also take a healthy interest in the Lowcountry. People from New Jersey, whatever they’re called, rank 25th. That’s OK for now, but if they move up any we should all be concerned.
We are popular in Charlotte and Atlanta but also Fuquay-Varina and Pittsboro. Those are places in North Carolina. Yes, I had to Google them. On the world stage, outside of our own country we are a popular search term in Belgium, Malaysia and Australia. We’re as popular in France as Jerry Lewis. Or maybe it’s just confusion with our sister city of Beaufort, Savoie, which is actually in France. Had to Google that one, too.
People who search for Beaufort also, somewhat naturally, search for Bluffton, Hilton Head and Savannah. A search for the Marine Corps Air Base in Beaufort also makes the top 15, likely by Marines and Marine spouses around the country who have just learned their new deployment destination.
In terms of related searches, the evidence shows us that mugshots are popular. Searches for mugshots of people arrested in Beaufort has grown exponentially in the past five years. It’s up for others to debate whether they should be printed daily in the paper or online, but you really don’t want to end up in someone’s search.
On a more positive note, more and more people are searching our area for chicken wings. And both Zillow and VRBO (vacation rentals by owner) are terms that are on the rise. That’s good news for the real estate and tourism markets.
Let’s hope 2017 brings more of those types of encouraging online searches for Beaufort and less of the “Beaufort Hurricane Matthew Devastation” variety. Also, RIP Lady Chablis.