Steve Rushin, a columnist for Sports Illustrated, recently explored the wonders of Google’s new Trends service. Rushin put Trends to the test with a series of sports-related terms. He found, for example, that residents of Dublin, Ireland, Google “golf tips” and “Guinness” more than folks anywhere else in the world.
Ever wonder what city Googles the word “tire” more than any other? I did, so stealing a page from Rushin’s playbook, I put our industry to the test.
Denverites, it shows, are the most interested in “tires,” followed by residents of Atlanta, Phoenix and Sacramento. But Pleasanton, Calif., residents are the screwiest for “lug nuts.”
“Wheels” is highly sought after in Phoenix, Miami and Brisbane, Australia, the top three Googlers globally. The more specific “chrome wheels” is most searched in Oklahoma, City, Las Vegas, Orlando and Richardson, Texas.
Who is most interested in “performance tires?” Denver residents, again. “Winter tires,” though, is the domain of the Dominion of Canada, which swept all 10 slots. Folks in Burlington, Vt.; Portland, Maine; and Syracuse, N.Y., ask the most for the rather antiquated “snow tires.”
“Truck tires” pique the interest of citizens in Norfolk, Va.; Tampa; Orlando and Oklahoma City, in that order. “Run-flat tires” captures the most attention in San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles. When it comes to “flat tires,” Miamians are most curious.
It seems people living in Cleveland care most about “tire care.” Why not, what with all the potholes and constant road construction? Only six cities popped up on that query, including St. Louis, Atlanta, Toronto, Chicago and New York. Apparently, we Americans just don’t care enough.
Tire brands are near and dear to their hometown residents, for the most part. “Michelin,” obviously, is well-Googled in French cities and Greenville, S.C. Cooper is hot in Findlay, Ohio. “Continental AG” hits it in Hanover and Charlotte, N.C. “Pirelli” is favored in searches by the Milanese and…San Diegoans. Atlanta, close to Pirelli’s U.S. headquarters in Rome, Ga., shows up eighth.
Akronites are curious about “Goodyear,” but not as much as folks in Chandler, Ariz. Could it be because Goodyear, Ariz., is just a radial’s throw away?
“Bridgestone” is most searched down under by residents of Brisbane and Melbourne. Tokyo, Bridgestone’s hometown, doesn’t even crack the top 10. “Bridgestone/Firestone,” though, is top of the Google charts in Nashville, Tenn.
A true oddity, it is the Canadians who are most interested in “Yokohama tire,” “Toyo tire,” “Kumho tire” and “Hankook tire.”
Flagship lines, too, get Googled a lot. Residents of Minneapolis most often search for “Goodyear Assurance.” “Michelin Pilot Sport” attracts the most inquiries from Stuttgart and Munich. “Bridgestone Potenza” apparently has a lot of fans in Zagreb Hrvatska in Croatia.
People in San Jose care most about “alignment,” and “brake repair” is most important in Austin, Texas. Denver residents don’t like bumpy rides, so they Google “shock absorbers.” And, even though they love their trucks, Norfolk residents like quiet vehicles, hence their deep interest in “mufflers.”
When it’s time to buy, folks in Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., look most for “tire stores,” as do our friends up north in Hamilton, Ontario. “Tire dealers” are most preferred in Rochester, N.Y., St. Louis and Cincinnati. Bostonians love “tire sales,” as do the cheap skates in Washington, D.C.
When it comes to getting the best-possible tire advice and service, people in Kansas City, Mo., Oklahoma City and Kansas City, Kan., most often look to “walmart tires.” Must be something in the air there.
The most preferred reading material concerning tires? “Tire Review” gets the most searches in Denver, Seattle and Pleasanton in the U.S. Maybe it’s a holdover from that “lug nuts” fixation. On a worldwide basis, Ottawa, Calgary and Winnipeg look most often for “Tire Review.” What about the other tire magazines, you ask? Let’s just say they aren’t Google material.
Also not getting clicked much are “tire technology,” “tire treadwear,” “tire changers,” “tire balancers,” “TREAD Act,” “TPMS,” or “idiots in Washington.”
And, sorry Harvey, “retread,” “recap” or any other derivation apparently aren’t that interesting to the general public; those terms don’t get enough searches to muster a report.
There’s a lot to see and do on the Internet. Sometimes it’s fun to see just how interested others are in what you do.