Avast Security Blogger, 20 September 2011


If you don’t understand the title – don’t worry. It should not make any sense and frankly I don’t understand it either. But it does make a lot of sense to Google and its service called “correlate”. The old “if you’re not on Google, you don’t exist” is getting a whole new spin.

The idea is rather simple. Google knows what people are searching for and is therefore able to compare search trends for different terms and show you those with similar searched-for pattern. For example, searches for term “beer” correlate nicely and not surprisingly to searches for “brewery”, “ice cube trays” or “jalapeno”. But they also correlate to searches for “swollen ear” (?!) and “how to remove ink” (?!). I live in a country with the highest per-capita beer consumption of anywhere on the globe, so on second thought I’d actually understand “swollen ear” – since sleeping on a marble bar is not a particularly good idea – and of course knowing how to “remove ink” neatly positioned under your skin in the form of nice tattooed butterfly comes in handy after a particularly wild party night.

But back to the title. The majority of AVAST users are getting avast! Free Antivirus thanks to a recommendation from their friends or relatives. I can just imagine how it works: you have a problem with your PC and call your computer-expert friend (everybody has one of these) for advice. And he tells you “get the free avast antivirus”. So you go to Google and search for it. Voila! There you go.

And interestingly enough, the search pattern for “avast free antivirus” correlates on a 97% level to searches for “ipod passcode”. I don’t have an iPod – I’m very much not ‘in’ – but I guess this is the PIN to open it. And I can only speculate that the growing user base of iPod users and AVAST users helps to draw the nice correlation in search terms. But this is somehow hampered by the search term “avast free” which closely correlates to “American Dad episodes”… I will need to watch more TV to understand the correlation there ;)

But it will not be tonight. Today the marketing team goes to a bar. We have couple of new team members and we desperately need some good quality drinking time. And I just hope we will not need to search tomorrow for answers to “swollen ear” or “how to remove ink”…

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