On Tuesday, December 9th, Anna Franczak (Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Polish Academy of Sciencies) presented a paper titled ‘How to Use Google Tools and Internet Data in Academic Research’.
Google is the biggest global search engine. Founded in 1998, in a garage by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, this tool has changed the way we use Internet – some say Google = Internet. Only a year after Google was launched, 3.5 million daily searches were being made; now, 16 years later, Google answers to 3.5 billion searches per day. Google knows when as well as how we search. These data are gathered, measured and grouped thematically, geographically, and by demographic categories. Google searches and their documentation are an amazing source of data.
During the seminar I intend to show how Google actually works. I will argue that we cannot ignore this source of information; the question should not be whether to use this “big database,” but rather how to do it. I will focus on tools Google has prepared for using the data from searches, and on how these tools can be utilized in academic research. In addition, I will present some results on the voievodship level that can be relevant for the Polish Panel Survey (POLPAN), waves 2008 and 2013, and on the country level that can be relevant for the Harmonia, that is for analyses of the Integrated File of International Survey Projects.