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Geek comic artist Randall Munroe, better known as XKCD’s creator, revealed a little-known Google Spreadsheets secret yesterday. You can plot out the estimated volume of Google search results against different queries.

How do you do it? Alex Chitu at Google Operating System says:

If you are familiar with Google Spreadsheets, try to create a sheet that lets you enter a query like “My IQ is X”, a variable name and the values for that variable. The result should be a graph that shows the number of Google search results for each instance of your query. Use importXML and an XPath expression to find the number of Google search results: “//p[@id=’resultStats’]/b[3]”. Here’s an example.

I’ve had a little fun this morning plotting out search queries against income. There’s not a distinctive trend though, aside from search results topping out at notable benchmarks like $100,000 and $1 million.


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