Google’s move in China boosts its popularity

GOOGLE’S BrandIndex “Buzz” scores have soared this month following the announcement of a major publishing deal with the Italian government and the decision by Google chief executive Eric Schmidt to break the company’s silence over its long-standing dispute with the Chinese Government over censorship.

YouGov’s BrandIndex provides a measure of consumer sentiment for different brands. The “Buzz” is a measure of the relative amount of consumers who have heard something positive or negative about the brand.

After the 10 of March, the day the publishing agreement was announced, and the same day Eric Schmidt announced that “something will happen soon” with regard to its dispute with the Chinese government, Google’s Buzz score rose from +23 points to a high of +26 points by 17 March. It seems that Google benefits from issuing strategic decisions, and software, “in beta”.

The publishing agreement means that Google will scan up to a million books from the national libraries in Florence and Rome, as well as providing the libraries with digital copies of the books for their own websites.

Meanwhile, in the days following Schmidt’s announcement that “something will happen soon”, the increased speculation that Google would close its Google.cn site fed its “Reputation” score, growing from +50 points on the 16 March to a high of +54 on 22 March. The decision to leave China was eventually confirmed yesterday, when Schmidt announced that Google was shifting its operations from mainland China to Hong-Kong. As millions of Irish people around the world prepared to toast their patron saint, Guinness recorded a rise of three points for both its buzz score between the 3 and 19 of March, recording a high of +18. Guinness normally sells one million pints per week, but this rises to five million on St Patrick’s Day alone.

Stephan Shakespeare is co-founder and co-chief executive of YouGov.

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