The injunction DID protect the footballer Google search volumes show
So how successful was the injunction at protecting a certain footballer? In this graph showing search volumes (up until Saturday), the red line shows recent searches for the word injunction, the blue line the footballer's name (probably should have been the other way round) and the yellow line the footballer's name plus the word affair.
Until the last few days, there were many more people searching for injunction than there were for his name. Each spike in searches for injunction sees a rise in searches for his name. But it's only on this Saturday (the final day in the graph) that search volumes for the name really outstrip the word injunction. Hardly anyone has been searching for his name plus the word affair until this weekend.
Until this weekend, then, the injunction seemed reasonably effective if search volumes are anything to go by (whatever those of us on Twitter thought).
Of course, anyone who did search would have found out the answer, especially if they used Google News which on Sunday night is suggesting the list of words shown in the screenshot when you search for the footballer's name (and I pointed out 6 days ago that there are 394,000 web results for the footballer's name plus Imogen Thomas). There were also lots of newpaper hints.
But the search volumes for the name were pretty low compared to those searching for the word injunction.
(I suppose you could argue this means that everyone knew - but I think it more likely that it means they didn't, otherwise they would all have been searching to find out the details).
This weekend, and publication of the footballer's face in Scotland, changed all that. So how many people are searching for his name now? Yesterday I showed that search volumes on Thursday for his name were equivalent to those for the word horoscope - these run at a steady 500,000 a month or about 17,000 a day.
Now that Google Insights is showing search volumes for Saturday it is suggesting that 25 times as many people searched for his name on Saturday as for the word horoscope - so that's about 425,000 people. I imagine the figure will be even higher for Sunday ...
Basically - everyone who wants to know, now knows. And it wasn't Twitter who leaked it - it was the fact that the injunction didn't cover Scotland that has lead to it all coming out.
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