The Cochrane Schizophrenia Group

Cochrane through the eyes of Google Trends

The Lancet Logo BW

The Lancet Logo BW (Photo credit: ColaLife)

By Lewis Timimi, Work Experience at CSzG

Google is used so frequently and widely across the world that it has, in recent years, become a great tool for monitoring public interest. Jumping on the back of this, Google launched its own free service, which publishes a range statistics on popular Google searches, called Google Trends. Using Google Trends, it’s possible to see how interest in a specific subject has changed, worldwide, over almost 10 years (data starts from 2004). But can Google Trends tell us anything about online interest in Cochrane?

Well, we searched for a range of different Cochrane related phrases through Google Trends. The results were pretty consistent. They showed a steady decline in the number of searches for Cochrane, both across the UK and worldwide. In fact, searches for “Cochrane library” had decreased by around 75% since the start of 2004. It doesn’t sound too good. Read the rest of this entry »

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Is Google a reliable tool for trial searches?

By Beth Adams, Work Experience at CSzG

There are around 91 million Google searches done across the world each day. So it’s needless to say it’s a huge part of day to day life, as well as the “go to” place for information. But when we search, can we just presume we are seeing all the possible results?

English: Google Logo officially released on Ma...

English: Google Logo officially released on May 2010 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To test Google’s reliability, we set out to investigate the yield of search terms across all Google search engines.

We selected 11 phrases, chosen for relevance, currency, and possible controversial connotations including, ‘randomized’ and ‘randomized and schizophrenia’ for the theme of randomized trials, to have both a general and specific search. Then, we searched each phrase on the 137 Google sites across the world on the same day (7th – 8th July 2013). This allowed us to record the number of results on each of the sites to work out the comparative percentages.  You’d expect them to be consistent and reliable, but were they? Read the rest of this entry »

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