Measuring Google Mindshare

Measure the Google mindshare of a particular person within a query domain.

Based on an idea by author Steven Johnson (, this hack determines the Google mindshare of a person within a particular set of Google queried keywords. What’s Willy Wonka’s Google mindshare of “Willy”? What percentage of “weatherman” does Al Roker hold? Who has the greater “The Beatles” Google mindshare, Ringo Starr or Paul McCartney? More importantly, what Google mindshare of your industry does your company own?

Google mindshare is calculated as follows: determine the size of the result set for a keyword or phrase. Determine the result set size for that query along with a particular person. Divide the second by the first and multiply by 100, yielding percent Google mindshare. For example: A query for Willy yields about 1,590,000 results. "Willy Wonka" +Willy finds 66,700. We can conclude—however unscientifically—that Willy Wonka holds roughly a 4% (66,700 / 1,590,000 × 100) Google mindshare of Willy.

Sure it’s a little silly, but there’s probably a grain of truth in it somewhere.

The Code

#!/usr/local/bin/perl # google_mindshare.cgi # This implementation by Rael Dornfest # # Based on an idea by Steven Johnson # # Your Google API developer's key my $google_key='insert key here'; # Location of the GoogleSearch WSDL file my $google_wdsl ...

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