Saturday, September 30, 2006

If You're Reading This, You Are Probably A Teenaged Girl

Well, not exactly. But according to an interesting marketing tool created by Microsoft adCenter Labs (which we discovered through this diary on Language Log, but which you can access directly by clicking here), people who search for the World Wide Webers URL have a 52 percent likelihood of being female. What's more, the largest single age group conducting such a search are those under 18--fully 26.15 percent, as compared to their prevalence in the general population, which is just 9.80 percent.

The results from adCenter Labs' Demographic Prediction page are based on one month's worth of searches on MSN Search. They can also give you predictions based on query words or phrases. For example, according to a Language Log probe, people querying the phrase "Manolo Blahnik" came up 79 percent female, which at least makes sense stereotype-wise.

But the World Wide Webers result certainly gives me pause--unless large numbers of junior-high girls have been abandoning their interest in Lindsay Lohan and taking up I. F. Stone instead.

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