University of Twente Student Theses


Culture and queries : Google search data as a reflection of national culture

Bredenoord, B.J.B. (2016) Culture and queries : Google search data as a reflection of national culture.

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Abstract:Search engine data from Google Trends is frequently used for cross-country comparison, but it is unknown if Google search behavior reflects cultural traits. This study takes an explorative approach and aims to explore the idea that Google search engine data and national culture can be linked. For several English- and Spanish speaking countries, this paper compares the relative frequency of culture expressing keywords in Google search queries, and link this to national culture using the Hofstede and GLOBE models. Using another sample of 42 countries, we analyze search volume data about searches for year numbers in the future and present in Arabic numerals (e.g. ‘2015’, ‘2016’). For the English- and Spanish speaking countries that are analyzed, significant relationships are found between national culture and the relative occurrence of culture expressing words for the dimensions power distance, individualism vs. collectivism, and long-term vs. short-term orientation. The analysis of the other sample of 42 countries shows that cultures with a high future orientation tend to search more often for year numbers in the future. The idea that Google search queries reflect culture may enable new forms of cross-cultural research. This knowledge may encourage the development of new methods of data collection for cross cultural comparison using Google search data.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:International Business Administration BSc (50952)
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