By Karima Rhanem | Morocco TIMES 5/14/2006 | 1:46 pm
Moroccans top the list of people who most frequently look up for romance and love on the internet, revealed a research conducted by the internet search engine, Google Trends.
Algerians and Tunisians were also among the top three who search for "amour”, the French word for love, on the net, said the US daily, International Herald Tribune, which published the findings under the title: Which nations search for what.
Paris, allegedly a romantic haven, is absent from the top 10. With the current political situation in France, French users seem to be more interested in politics rather than love. Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy draws as many searches on his own as his rivals, President Jacques Chirac and Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, combined.
Politics also played a role in orienting Internet users' searches in the Middle East. According to the findings, Iranians seem to have “googled” up George Bush twice as often as their own president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Bush also commands at least seven times as many searches in Russia as its own leader, Vladimir Putin. Among the French, Bush generates about 50 % more look-ups than Chirac.
Other findings suggest the stirrings of a trend in different countries. Pakistanis look up "Danish cartoons" more avidly than anyone, according to Google. They also lead the rankings for "sex" - with India far behind.
In Saudi Arabia, even though homosexuality is punishable by death, the kingdom ranks No. 2 for searches for "gay sex," behind the Philippines, said Google.
In Britain, Web surfers in Birmingham are more likely than those in any other city to search for pornography, said the BBC referring to the Google research.
The facility showed that the amount of searches on the word "porn" reached an all-time high in 2005.
Regarding “Guns", a word allegedly associated with the United States, it was surprisingly the center of interest for Latin Americans. International Herald Tribune reported that due to the rising incidence of violent kidnappings and murders in Latin America it has perhaps driven searchers to the Web for answers.
Searchers for "Allah" come overwhelmingly from the Islamic world. But, the word is searched from the Dutch-language version of Google more than from the Arabic-language one. Norwegian, French, Danish, Swedish and German sites also featured in the top 10 for "Allah" inquiries.
Google Trends, a new site introduced Thursday, measures how often particular phrases are searched for from computers in individual countries and cities.
The site works by sampling all searches matching a single word and determining the cities from which it received the most hits.
From those top cities, the ratio of searches is calculated by dividing it by the total Google searches coming from the same city.