At http://whatdoestheinternetthink.net you can actually find out what the internet’s global opinion is on a given search term: positive, negative or indifferent.
The site was live in January 2009 and went on to go viral twice; June/July 2009 and April 2012 (following a re-design and re-coding).
Since launching, this has sparked up some discussion as to how it all works. Well, you can understand that I don’t want to disclose too much of the ‘algorithm’ of the site. However: basically it searches based on associative (so far just English) sentences. The given search term is used in these sentences which are then sent off to the various search engines, counting the amount of results returned. (Sentences are double quoted before they are sent off, so as to make sure the search-engines search for occurrences of the *whole* sentence).
This, of course, produces questionable results which should not be taken very seriously. However, the more results (hits) returned, the more reliable these results can become. Do a search for George Bush and then Barack Obama, and you’ll see that the internet is certainly not far off – or perhaps even in-sync – with the result you had in mind.
My advice would be to do 10 ‘obvious’ searches, of which you are almost certain of the results, based on your perception of general opinion (e.g. ‘beer’, ‘sex’, ‘sleeping’, etc.) and then do 10 less obvious searches. If the first 10 convince you of even the slightest accuracy, the second 10 will perhaps be not as random as you thought.
Site review at Sitejabber.com:
I don’t love (web sites) easily . But I have to tell you this tickles me (I’m pretty ticklish). I think it’s the concept and the potential, rather than “buying” into the literal results.
Simply, “What-The-Internet-Thinks” is a search engine based on “sentiment”, being able to recognize subtleties such as sarcasm. I’ve hunted around and no one knows how this thing truly works, just that it’s popular.
WhatDoesTheInternetThink.net is like one of those flash Gallup polls that tap into public opinion. The web tool searches the internet for the global opinion on what the world thinks. It takes your search term and returns results as Positive, Negative or Indifferent. The tool searches the web using Google, Yahoo, Bing, and Twitter – or all combined.
What criteria the engine bases its results on is, as mentioned, unclear, so take the results with a pinch of salt.
I can see results being used to attempt marketing trends/evaluations, perceived ‘good’ & ‘bad’. So I’m not sure what else to tell you other than have fun with it, and if you’re doing some research be sure to footnote this review.