I am fascinated by the insights that we can develop out of looking at search engine data - as I think everyone in the agency is now well aware of due to random announcements eminating from my person. However the Michael Jackson episode (death + funeral + tribute + legal issues etc) over the past few weeks has been a source of constant amusement and distraction for me.
In June, one of the top rising search terms for searches from NZ, Australia and UK was 'michael jackson jokes'. However we obviously got over this pretty quickly as in July, all three countries then searched for 'michael jackson memorial' as their number 1 breakout search phrase. However, the second highest search term was related to 'michael jackson ghost' - again for all three countries.
The US on the other hand had a little more respect - the term 'michael jackson jokes' didn't enter into the index. And they also searched on 'michael jackson memorial', 'michael jackson service' and 'jackson memorial' before they looked for the ghost! I can then only assume that the searches for 'michael jackson live' and 'michael jackson tickets' were related to his service. Or maybe people in the US thought they could see the ghost perform?