Google Doodles Lead To Increased Search Traffic

    June 17, 2008

When Google doodles appear on major holidays, it sometimes takes a moment of thought to connect the picture and the occasion.  When Google doodles honor more random people and events, it appears that a lot of searches take place.

Hitwise’s Robin Goad writes, "When looking at our Fast Moving Search Terms list a few weeks ago, I was surprised to see the term ‘walter gropius’ at the top of the list for All Categories. . . .  [Perusing] the list last Monday I noticed that the term ‘charles rennie mackintosh’ appeared in the top 10."

Both of these men were recently referenced by doodles; anyone who clicked on a doodle was then taken to a list of search results.  This is fine, and except for the cartoons themselves, not too interesting.  What makes the pattern more significant is how well Wikipedia ranks in Google’s search results, and how much traffic it consequently receives.

Almost 36 percent of the people who searched for "walter gropius" wound up at Wikipedia, according to Goad.  About 14 percent of the people who searched for "charles rennie mackintosh" did the same.  It seems as if Wikipedia’s administrators must look forward to obscure Google doodles the same way some bloggers anticipate traffic from Digg.

The connection hardly does any harm, though, and we’re all becoming better educated about Scottish and German architects in the process.