Keyword Research to Predict Oscar Winners
WordTracker has just put out a press release with their picks for the Oscars. Their predictions are based on looking at search volume for the various nominees. While the predictive nature of tools like WordTracker and Keyword Discovery is important for any search engine optimization (SEO) program to be successful, I think WordTracker's current use is flawed.
First off, let me saw that I know I'm picking apart a press release which was more likely created for its traffic generation potential rather than as a rigorous scientific study. Still, the biggest flaw with WordTracker's predictions is that they are based on the behavior of the general public rather than the Oscar judges. Time and time again the judges have shown that they don't fall in line with what the outside world is thinking. If they did, the show would be pretty boring since there'd be no surprises. Everyone could just stay home and have their trophy mailed to them based on a random, but statistically significant poll.
A better predictor would be to have something similar to a stock exchange where people can place bets on who will win. This would force people to make decisions based on their knowledge of the nominees and judges. The use of actual money improves the chances that bets are well considered. In addition, with enough participants it is possible to come close to having the collective knowledge actually match reality. This sort of market has been used in the past to predict things like elections. I just can't for the life of me remember the URL. Sorry!