From Jay-Z to King of Pop, celebrities dominate Google

Photo Illustration By Jed Dean

By Stephen Strobbe

A recent look at the men with the most Google search results found Jesus Christ losing in popularity to celebrities such as 50 Cent and Bruno Mars.

College Candy, an online lifestyle magazine, researched the most popular men according to Google’s search index. Google is the most dominant search engine on the Internet, with an index of billions of websites through which users can search via keywords. Once a search is run, Google provides an estimate of the number of sites within its index with that keyword.

College Candy began the process by gathering a vast list of close to 300 men it considered possible entries into the top 50 and then narrowing them down one by one by Googling their names and then recording the number of results. Although the process is not without its flaws, the site noted it cross-referenced the list with others who have compiled similar lists to provide a relative level of consistency.

“We spend a lot of time Googling people online, both personally and for our job. So we kind of got curious to see, with the wide access to Google in the world, who would be the most Googled men,” Lauren Herskovic, editor-in-chief for the site, said. “We just wanted to see if are the people we think really at the top, or are there more?”

The top five ranked, in ascending order, were Drake, Chris Brown, Justin Bieber, Eminem and the number one man, Michael Jackson.

Some men who placed within the top 50 should come as no surprise, with President Barack Obama ranking at nine and former president George W. Bush at 29. Much of the rest of the list featured more celebrities, ranging from musicians and actors to sports stars.

And yet the ranking provided some surprises, with Jesus placing at only sixteen, being outranked by both Shakespeare and Jay-Z.

Dr. Mia Moody, professor in the journalism department, conducts research on new media and social media. She attributed the results to a culture of celebrity obsession.

“People are really into the celebrity culture nowadays,” Moody said. “People can relate more to celebrities than they can political figures or historical figures. Those are the stars of today; those are the role models for today’s youth.”

With Internet culture growing ever closer to becoming a sort of interconnected world culture, the number of Google results each name claims could be seen as a sort of cultural barometer.

“So this is just a matter of people giving people what they want instead of what they need. People want to learn more about 50 Cent whereas they may need to learn more about Jesus,” Moody said. “People are catering to what they perceive what people would want to read about.”

Lubbock sophomore Catherine Teegardin said she was shocked by some of the men who made the list, especially since entertainers tended to outrank more seemingly noteworthy people.

“I would say it fairly accurately represents what we focus on in our free time. A lot of songwriters, entertainment-type people and then later on down the list people like Mark Zuckerberg and George W. Bush. That says something, I think, about where we spend our free time,” Teegardin said.