If Google says it, it must be true…

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A few days ago Google introduced a new feature called “Trends” that allows users to view statistics about the search queries that Google fields by the millions every day. And finally, we have proof that Columbia actually is more important than its ivied brethren.

A comparison by volume of the search term “columbia university” versus “harvard university” et al., and “columbia” versus “harvard,” etc., reveals that Columbia is well ahead on both counts (and it’s assigned us a fitting color).

Columbia 1, all other Ivies 0.

Update: Also, check out “columbia college” versus “harvard college.”

The score: 2-0.

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  1. but...  

    if you run the search with brown added to the list, it beats columbia.

    (don't know why i'm doing this so late. anything to break up the monotony of packing, i guess.)

  2. whoops  

    not if you list it as "brown university." my mistake. brown continues to be inferior.

  3. especially  

    since brown is a color

  4. butwhat  

    but what does this really mean? Fewer people can remember our web address than harvard's? Why would anyone search for "Columbia University" -- isn't it obvious that the address is going to be!

  5. The Campus Drunk (one of many)  

    "Columbia" means a lot of different things-- if we're talking about the school we're attending, we should really only count "Columbia University". Harvard University, on the other hand, is pretty much the only thing with the name "Harvard," so whenever anyone mentions it, it's usually as "Harvard" and not "Harvard University". Thus the search really isn't a fair fight-- search "Harvard" versus "Columbia University" and you'll get markedly different results.

  6. Stephen  

    yea that's whack. it could be anything from Columbia University, the Columbia shuttle, Columbia sportswear, mispelled Colombia, Columbia records, the city of columbia, etc etc. etc. etc. etc.

  7. hmm  

    Hello, people at Columbia are fucking ridiculous.

  8. oooh, shiny  

    woah, google is impressive, it gave ALL of the schools their respective colors.

  9. M.R.  

    What's incredibly sad is I already did this about 2 years ago. The problem is that "Columbia University" generates a ton of non-columbia hits on just the first page. The next two hits when you search with quotes

    -University of Missouri-Columbia

    -University of British Columbia

    There's also a Columbia College in Chicago.

    By contrast, searching for "harvard university" yields all Harvard related sites- Law School, B-School, Med School etc.

    Proving once again, possibly definitively, that Columbia does a shitty job of getting it's name out and 'building a brand.'

  10. moph  

    i can only partly agree. The problem is that Columbia is a Latin word that was popular as a name for things, over a period of time. So Columbia Sportswear, Columbia Records, the Columbia Encyclopedia, Columbia House, etc etc etc, are ALL purposely trying to get their name in the rankings. Harvard, on the other hand, is a family name.

    I think Brown is a more fair comparison.

  11. re:joinder  

    the way it calculates that is screwy. from the google page: When the Cities tab is selected, Google Trends first looks at a sample of all Google searches to determine the cities from which we received the most searches for your first term. Then, for those top cities, Google Trends calculates the ratio of searches for your term coming from each city divided by total Google searches coming from the same city. The city ranking you see on the page and the bar charts alongside each city name both represent this ratio.

  12. Anna  

    Doesn't this just mean that Columbia is less well known than Harvard?

  13. Something cooler  

    What if you compared God to Columbia University?

    You'd see that whereas in most places on earth God outpaces Columbia, but in NYC, we still love our Columbia Blue.

    [haha, and yes, Google Trends are the status quo, what they say goes]

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