Dec 7, 2011

Google searches for phrase "Is there a God" increasing dramatically

Google insights for search allows one to compare and contrast the phrases that people are Googling and how that interest shifts over time. The data is scaled out of 100 and prior to the scaling, is relative to the total number of all searches (the insights for search website has more information about the scaling). As a result, one can compare interest in certain search terms with other terms.

I noticed an interesting trend this morning.

As the chart below shows, interest in the phrase, "is there a God" has skyrocketed over the past 4 years. I had put the phrase in quotes, as that forces the ordering of words. Some of the the other terms also show slight increases. I'm not claiming that this implies that atheism is on the rise, but that the relative interest in understanding religion, or the lack thereof, seems to be on the rise.
Relative number of Google searches for various phrases questioning God as a function of time
What is odd is that "is there a God" is the only phrase I found that increased so dramatically. Some of the other phrases that I have not shown on the graph did not show such a dramatic rise. Thinking that there might have been some event around 2008 that caused the spike, I Googled this term myself and did not find anything out of the ordinary that would cause it, like a song, movie, famous quote, or event. There is, however, a website called but I don't think searching for that website can account for such a sharp rise in the search for this phrase.

Just thought I would put this out there.

Interesting stuff.


  1. This is very interesting! One of the possible reasons for the start in 2008 is the financial crisis and the rise in social injustice. We found many similar disturbing trends rising since 2008 (depression, interest in guns, etc...) You can check these out at In fact, since you have an interest, why don't you become a contributor to our site, to share and discuss this and other trends that interest you. Posting is very easy!

    If you don't, I'm going to share this myself someday!

  2. Ardash. Thanks for the comment. That's a good idea. I'll become a contributor today

  3. It is an interesting statistic, though perhaps it is just a statistical "artefact" - i.e. perhaps Google changed the way it measured things or something.

    But assuming it is a genuine trend, I am glad. I renamed my own website to Is there a God? after looking at a number of plausible titles and choosing one which seemed to be likely to do well in Google search, so perhaps I made the right choice!

  4. Hah. You definitely made the right choice naming your website "is there a God".

    I don't think the trend is an artifact. I checked it a couple of times, read the Google FAQ too. It is for real.

    Maybe people are really swarming in your blog!? :)

  5. Really awesome article! I wonder if people are actually questioning God more. I certainly have.

  6. "I wonder if people are actually questioning God more. I certainly have."
    Interesting comment Neil. I suspect more people are indeed asking questions about God, and that includes both believers asking God why certain things happen and unbelievers wondering whether he might be there after all.

    My feeling is that people are a little tired of the strong christians and strong atheists telling them what they ought to believe and arguing with each other, and want to question more for themselves without the argument.