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Eurovision 2009 results vs Google’s predictions (nul points)

May 17, 2009 No Comment

Google ran an interesting experiment - attempting to predict the results of the 2009 Eurovision contest based on search popularity.

But while it got the winner right, the rest of its predictions were a bit poor, as this table shows.

Actual results vs Google predictions

Country Actual result Google prediction Difference
Norway 1 1 0
Iceland 2 25 -23
Azerbaijan 3 11 -8
Turkey 4 2 2
United Kingdom 5 8 -3
Estonia 6 18 -12
Greece 7 3 4
France 8 6 2
Bosnia & Herzegovina 9 33 -24
Armenia 10 23 -13

Nick Burcher had pointed out two reasons in advance why this experiment wasn't likely to be all that successful: "the jury vote [which accounts for half of the votes] can't be predicted and significant search volumes in Eastern Europe occur on non-Google search engines like Yandex".

And while he updated his post to claim "Norway wins a landslide Eurovision victory, Google gets it right!", I think that's pretty kind - Google predicted a narrow win over Turkey in 2nd, as opposed to a thumping one over Iceland in 2nd.

Interestingly, Norway were red hot favourites at the bookies - with Greece 2nd favourites and Turkey 3rd. So they're no better at predicting it either ...

Still, one thing you could predict was that Andorra gave Spain 12 points - they had 0 until then. So some things never change:

Screenshot of Google predictor

Google's Eurovision predictions based on search volumes

Google's Eurovision predictions based on search volumes

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