What can Google trends tell us about ourselves?

I was scanning Google trends this week and I was noticing a curious trend across many keywords associated with religion.

It began with a search for interest in Spirituality, which has been waning steadily for some years now. I thought, what about Religion, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, JudaismHinduism and Paganism? As you’ll see from the results it seems there was a sharp decline in interest over 2005 and 2006, which has plateaued since early 2007.

I’m pondering what that may suggest, but there were also some noticeable exceptions. Firstly, Jesus is still drawing a crowd, with attention peaking at Easter with the Mission to bring Jesus to London. Also Atheism, Yoga and Prayer seem to have held steady, neither waxing nor waning, apart from a few notable spikes. And God is going up.

As many would anticipate, Emerging Church has jumped the shark (though Missional did well last year), but I note Wicca is also in steep decline, suggesting the teen witch fluff bunnies have found other interests.

So, what does this mean? Well, I’d suggest that spiritual consumerism peaked in the mid 00s, that the more ecclectic have been struck with enui, and that those left interested are the more serious. Could we be moving into a more stable situation? Let’s wait and see.

3 thoughts on “What can Google trends tell us about ourselves?

  1. Are you referring to the culture or the chuch?
    Irrespective though, I have a question: has the emerging church challenged consumerist culture or merely accelerated its consumerization?


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