HotWords Logo

Occasionally I’ll come across a piece of software or a website that I think will be of interest to my readers, and will feature it on PracticalHacks. I thought that would be the case with HotWords… is a free search engine keyword analytical tool. If you are interested in finding out what internet users are searching for on Google and other search engines, HotWords will be of interest. The site lists the 100,000 most popular searches used on the internet, with trend and ranking reports.

If you’re a blogger or have a website, the good news is that you can see what people are searching for on the internet.

The bad news, it turns out, is that you can see what people are searching for on the internet.

Let me provide a couple of examples. If you visit the site, you can see what the top search terms are for that day. “Terrific,” I thought to myself, “I’ll see what keywords will generate more traffic for Practical Hacks and somehow find a way to use them on the site.” This seemed like an absolutely brilliant plan until I looked at the list:

HotWords Top Ten 6 17 08

It would appear my options are somewhat limited. “y**pxxx” is #1, “y** pxxx” is #4, and “y**” is #7. Should I even admit to never having heard of this site before??

So, what am I left with? “Free pxxx?” — no. “Google?” — great, but I’m pretty sure Practical Hacks readers are familiar with Google. “Yahoo?” — again, too general. “redtoob?” — hmmm, maybe this is a possibility. So I took a quick look. All I can say is if the guy who came up with y**pxxx has a brother, the brother came up with redtoob. And “xnxx?” I’m not going to even bother looking. So this exercise turned out to be less than totally useful.

Undeterred, I thought I’d test out some search terms to see how they ranked, another of HotWords’ features. So I searched for “Obama” and this was the result:

Obama search

Wait a minute, this is weird – there were only 39,449 searches for Obama in 2008?? I’m no brain surgeon, but I’m fairly certain that can’t be right. What about “Lohan,” by comparison?

Lohan search

Perfect! It’s only logical that many more people would be seeking information about Lindsay Lohan than a Presidential candidate. Perhaps I should have searched for “Obama nude.” (I tried it, and mercifully I am apparently the only lunatic who used this particular search term.)

Well if “Lindsay Lohan” is a really popular search term and “Obama” is only marginally popular as a search term, how would something that’s an absolutely life-or-death topic rank? Quite high, I would hope. First, I call up a 30 day trendline for what I’ll from this point forward refer to as “YP:”


YP’s biggest search day was 4/26, with 1,867,322 searches. Then, the same report for “Cancer Cure:”

“Cancer Cure’s” biggest day was May 2nd, with 42 searches. Aside from the fact that the numbers can’t be correct – it’s inconceivable that there aren’t many searches for “cancer cure” or “cure for cancer” every day — if they’re directionally correct, this is still sobering at best and depressing at worst.

HotWords answers the question in its tagline – “What is the world searching for” – quite emphatically.

My recommendation? Don’t bother with HotWords – the results look fishy and anyway, do you really need HotWords to figure out that people are looking at porn on the net? If you blog or have a site, concentrate on quality content that’s of value to your audience, and don’t worry about keywords and popular search terms. And whatever you do, don’t give in to the temptation to determine exactly what “xnxx” is. I’m reasonably certain it’s not going to enrich your life.


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1 Comment on Further evidence of the decline of civilization…

  1. […] If you want to see what the rest of the world is looking for, this blogger has kindly provided a summary. […]

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