The wheel of hunger

(click image to enlarge)

Big thanks to Adam Hinks for his help in making this data look magnificent and to James Webb for his invaluable feedback and direction.  Want to see other ways search engine data can be made awesome?


Our brains process 400 billion bits of information every second

Sounds like a lot doesn’t it?  Well it is, but fortunately we only ‘experience’ around 2,000 bits of this

This filtering enables us as human beings to make decisions based upon the data we receive. Without it, we’d be paralysed by the overwhelming possibilities of everything we see, touch, hear, store, smell and sense

In much the same way, when we look at what people are searching for online, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by rows upon rows of search terms, dates and volumes (even if it ‘only’ amounts to less than a million rows)

For someone looking at the data all day with advanced spreadsheet skills and tools it can be a little easier but we can’t all be data ninja’s and nor would we want to be

That’s why the visualisation above was created.  It takes a mass of data around what people search for online and filters it down through stages in order to answer the important question for anyone interested in creating content around food ‘what should we be talking about / linking to / sharing / discussing / creating / revamping?’

The filter process:

What people search for

(look at a big dataset of search terms that send traffic to over 3,000 recipe websites, in this case Hitwise)

What (UK) people search for around food

(restrict data to only those searches that ended up visiting a food related website)

What (UK) people search for around food every month

(Download the data on a month by month basis)

The most trending searches around food every month

(Compare this each months data to the previous months data and chart those searches that have risen the most in volume.  This is to make sure that we’re looking at search terms that are ‘big’ due to the month and not just those that are ‘big’ all year round).

What’s the point?

In creating this visualisation we’ve hopefully made something that helps us better connect to our audiences.

As every marketer knows, messages need to be delivered to the right people at the right time in the right place, using their language.  In refining it to just the top twenty trending search terms for each month we’ve hopefully made something that will not just make sense but will be used to make a difference.

Big thanks to Adam Hinks for his help in making this data look magnificent and to James Webb for his invaluable feedback and direction.

You can download the infographic in PDF format here BBC_Food_Infographic_v5

Most other search visualisations from this site are here

Please take a while to comment below.

29 thoughts on “The wheel of hunger

  1. Pingback: Google Search
    1. I’d agree to a point however the searches are often so generic (mothers day recipes) that there’s a vast range of angles and content that could be made around that. The purpose of the wheel is really to be an entry point into a large amount of data that sits underneath. By making it look attractive and tell one story, you get people interested in the data and therefore interested in what their audiences want and when.

  2. I am absolutely intrigued! I’ve been food blogging for about a year now and am always curious about the searches that lead people to my site. One of the biggest hits I got was because I had posted something about making your own mead and a friend had illustrated it with a diagram on how yeast and sugar is converted to alcohol . . . I was getting hundreds of hits for American high school students looking for an alcohol fermentation diagram!

  3. Wow this is really facinating! I’m new to blogging but already its facinating to see what people search for. I wonder how many of these searchs were followed up by the dishes. I have been known to read endless recipes at particularly ‘seasony’ times of year to get me in the summery/autumnal/christmassy mood.

    1. Thanks, it was made for BBC Food, for internal use really so no poster in the pipeline however you could download it as a high quality PDF (link at the bottom of the post ) and take it to a printer?

  4. I am not sure where you’re getting your info, but good topic.
    I needs to spend some time learning more or understanding more.
    Thanks for great information I was looking for this info for
    my mission.

  5. Howdy this is kind of of off topic but I was wanting to
    know if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML.
    I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding experience
    so I wanted to get guidance from someone with experience.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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