In May, 2006, Google Labs started their Google Trends service, allowing web browsers to tap into Google's database and assess search term frequency. A trends query on any topic shows the volume of queries over time, by city, regions, and languages. The data go as far back as January, 2004. Graphs show spikes in search topics and links to related news items. Geographic and regional data are also displayed, as are data by language.
Google searches for “Sea View, NJ” spiked from almost zero to their current numbers following the arrest of Destiny Blande.
Searches/Day for "Sea View, NJ":
"9/13/08: 8 searches/day
12/01/09: 130,257 searches/day
These numbers reflect similar statistics for other variations on the term “Sea View, NJ.” The search terms most commonly combined with this town name clearly reflect the source of the spike:
“Sea View, NJ” (alone): 4%
“Sea View, NJ” and _______
Sea View Mayor Winston Mayfield has had a smaller but analogous ascent in the Google world, emerging from anonymity on the national and international Google stage to a recognizable presence on the radar screen. Scant searches before Blande’s arrest were generally combined with the terms “local green initiatives” and “surveillance systems.” Today’s searches are most often combined with “Satin Strangler.”
Data on Blande’s criminal defense attorney Horace Krouch revealed profound changes over time. Before Blande’s arrest, searches on Krouch were often linked with “Gloria Watson” and “famous lawyers.” More recently, however, searches about the famous lawyer were combined with the terms “Destiny Blande,” “Satin Strangler,” “If She Did It,” and “Sea View.” The most common search term associated with Krouch during the last month has been “sex tape.”
It doesn’t take an advanced degree in Google-ology to discern that to most of the world, Sea View has become synonymous with the Satin Strangler, as well as the supporting characters and scenes from her story. The Satin Strangler single handedly resurrected the little beach town. Blande’s supporting cast members, such as Mayfield and Krouch, have had their identities redefined through the context of the Satin Strangler case.
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