Saturday, December 6, 2008

Pirates vs. Ninjas: Who would win?

The rivalry has become a social phenomenon, from YouTube videos condemning pirates' accents to movies predicting the outcome of a final showdown, and games that let you decide who's the mightiest. The clash comes to a head twice a year: Talk Like a Pirate Day on September 19th, and the Day of the Ninja on December 5th.

In September, we announced support for searching in pirate in time for the rum-filled celebrations. But when we sat down to brainstorm how one might search in ninja, we had a challenge. As far as we know, ninjas communicate telepathically -- and sadly, our search algorithm isn't quite there yet.

In fact, due to the stealth behavior inherent to ninja life, we didn't even know how to contact one for a consultation. We started looking for evidence of ninja activity on the web, and what we found confirmed our own inability to locate ninjas. Over the last four years, searches for ninjas have steadily increased:

But does an increase in curiosity indicate an increase in the ninja population? To answer this, we took a peek into our aggregated search terms over 2008. What we found seems to support the notion of a pervasive ninja community. But even that's open to interpretation:

Top Queries of 2008 related to "Ninjas Are..."
  1. ninjas are there
  2. ninjas are everywhere
  3. ninjas are better
  4. ninjas are awesome
  5. ninjas are sexy

Are we witnessing a quiet but steady ninja takeover? Should pirates be taking to the seas? Only time will tell. Or take matters into your own hands by comparing queries and graphs yourself using our Insights for Search tool.

Posted by Kasia Chmielinski, Google Blog Team
[NFGB] Link - from The Official Google Blog
Related From Google Blogs:
Google Earth Browser Plugin
Dev release:
Countdown to 2009
The Santa countdown begins...

No comments: