Adam Lambert Wins the Search Battle, but Kris Allen Wins the American Idol War

Adam Lambert didn't defeat Kris Allen on AI as many Web Anlaytics Experts Predicted

Adam Lambert didn't defeat Kris Allen on AI as many Web Anlaytics Experts Predicted

Adam Lambert was expected by everyone to win the latest American Idol, but a major upset occurred when Kris Allen took the grand prize.  Way back during the Democratic Presidential Race I wrote a column on Search Engine Watch “Can Google Predict the Next President?” discussing how search and other online data can be used to predict items like Presidential Elections, Influenza Outbreak, etc.  While I still hold this to be true, Mark Walsh’s article “Search Wrong On Idol” does a good job of pointing out that at least in this instance it wasn’t the most accurate prediction model.  And, yes, this is the extent I know about American Idol!

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2 responses to “Adam Lambert Wins the Search Battle, but Kris Allen Wins the American Idol War

  1. Hi Erik – long time no! I stumbled on your post here thanks to a colleague’s reference to your book. Oh, THAT Erik! The interesting point implied by your post is that the “pundits” picked the wrong metric, choosing quantity over sentiment. Search is good for assessing interest level, but not intent. People search madly for footage of a train wreck, but that doesn’t mean they like it. A more accurate projection would have come using some simple text analysis of blogs, Twitter, and social networks–measuring how often the word “winner” or “next american idol” were associated with one or the other contestant, for example. Search wasn’t “wrong,” the inference was.

    • Diane – way too long of a time!! Great comment btw. I wish you’d been in NYC – that would have been fun.

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