And he’s got a point. It really does kind of stink of Web Nouveau marketing hype. I’m sure at some point “zeitgeist” stunk of magazine or television trends as well. If there was a call to use the term more often, it might even find it’s place on a list of Obnoxious Industry Terms That Have Lost All Meaning right in between “edgy” and “compelling”.
Google doesn’t care, though. The word means something and is an accurate description of what Google Zeitgeist does. So there.
According to Google, their Zeitgeist describes:
[s]earch patterns, trends, and surprises according to Google. For both breaking news and obscure information alike, people around the world search Google. This flurry of searches often exposes interesting trends, patterns, and surprises. The Google Zeitgeist page is regularly updated to reflect tidbits of information related to the search behavior of Google users.
So firstly, let’s face it: A zeitgeist of Google = a zeitgeist of the internet = a zeitgeist of the world.
What other channel receives and parses more information for a larger demographic? This is it if you want to know what the modern world is thinking. At the main page, called the Zeitgeist Report, there is an overview of recent and common Google searches separated by category and type. From there, more granular queries can be made. It’s all very broad and simple and gives a very digestible view of recent transactions at Google.com.
Will this change your world? I guess not, it’s didn’t change mine. But it’s very cool all the same, so stop hating.