Measuring pool interest with google search trends

BRussell

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I wrote up this little report while playing with some new software. I looked at US pool-related google search trends.

Here is the report: Pool searches.

Here were my conclusions:
Conclusions:
1. Interest in pool, particularly 8 ball, has increased over the years.
2. Interest in pool leagues has increased, driven by APA.
3. The Mosconi Cup has grown to become the most popular pro pool event in the US.
 

hang-the-9

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
While general people do play in leagues and in bars, etc... it does not help the overall sport as a sport vs an activity that people do every so often.

When those APA players can name a pro player outside of "Black Widow" or "Fats" or attend any pro events or play in tournaments outside of league, then that is something.

There are not many "pool players" that I would classify as "players".

Just a few weeks ago we had some new players show up for a weekly tournament I play in. One of them owned a pool table and the others played with him at his house. When we racked up some 9 ball that was what we played in the tournament they started to look for where the "rest of the balls" were LOL How can you own a pool table, play on it, but not know about 9 ball? Or even the real 8 ball rules? Those players are no good for the "sport" or pool, but may be good for the sales of low end cues and such. On the bright side, one of them was very receptive to us teaching him the rules and how to play better, and has been back to play in the tournament even inviting some of his friends. Now that will be great for the sport, but really was driven by us as the other players, not by the industry or pro tour or anything.
 
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Patrick Johnson

Fish of the Day
Silver Member
While general people do play in leagues and in bars, etc... it does not help the overall sport as a sport vs an activity that people do every so often.

When those APA players can name a pro player outside of "Black Widow" or "Fats" or attend any pro events or play in tournaments outside of league, then that is something.

There are not many "pool players" that I would classify as "players".

Just a few weeks ago we had some new players show up for a weekly tournament I play in. One of them owned a pool table and the others played with him at his house. When we racked up some 9 ball that was what we played in the tournament they started to look for where the "rest of the balls" were LOL How can you own a pool table, play on it, but not know about 9 ball? Or even the real 8 ball rules? Those players are no good for the "sport" or pool, but may be good for the sales of low end cues and such. On the bright side, one of them was very receptive to us teaching him the rules and how to play better, and has been back to play in the tournament even inviting some of his friends. Now that will be great for the sport, but really was driven by us as the other players, not by the industry or pro tour or anything.
Surge, the pool hall that just opened in Chicago, is doing great business already in its first three months, almost entirely "non-players" - couples on dates, fathers teaching their kids, etc. There are multiples more casual players like that than "real players" - and they're what will grow pool as a business - and that's what will grow it as a sport.

If it ain't going mainstream it ain't going anywhere.

pj
chgo
 

Nick B

This is gonna hurt
Silver Member
Surge, the pool hall that just opened in Chicago, is doing great business already in its first three months, almost entirely "non-players" - couples on dates, fathers teaching their kids, etc. There are multiples more casual players like that than "real players" - and they're what will grow pool as a business - and that's what will grow it as a sport.

If it ain't going mainstream it ain't going anywhere.

pj
chgo

And I think this is important missing link. The pool leagues are very simply vehicles for revenue. Period. Full stop. They have almost zero interest in growing the game other than growing their user ranks. Grass roots growth and interest will only come from exposure.

Not to beat a dead horse. There is no surprise around the last two renaissance of pool came with The Hustler and COM. It was the same thing with Tog Gun. After the movie enrollment in the Air Force and Navy went sky high.

Hmmm now that I think about it...did we see a surge after Brokeback Mountain???
 

benjaminwah

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Get that shit on NETFLIX ! All the Mosconi Cups and World Pool Masters have great production quality. Why the **** not?
 

King T

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
And I think this is important missing link. The pool leagues are very simply vehicles for revenue. Period. Full stop. They have almost zero interest in growing the game other than growing their user ranks. Grass roots growth and interest will only come from exposure.

Not to beat a dead horse. There is no surprise around the last two renaissance of pool came with The Hustler and COM. It was the same thing with Tog Gun. After the movie enrollment in the Air Force and Navy went sky high.

Hmmm now that I think about it...did we see a surge after Brokeback Mountain???

The Pool leagues are the main source of bringing in people to the game. APA might not develop player, that's up to the individual and their interest level not the league, but the APA format allows anyone to be competitive and winning is infectious.

The leagues bring people back every week to the same places, many of which without leagues would never have these people as customers. APA is key.
 

spartan

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Pool is for everyone

While general people do play in leagues and in bars, etc... it does not help the overall sport as a sport vs an activity that people do every so often.

When those APA players can name a pro player outside of "Black Widow" or "Fats" or attend any pro events or play in tournaments outside of league, then that is something.

There are not many "pool players" that I would classify as "players".

Just a few weeks ago we had some new players show up for a weekly tournament I play in. One of them owned a pool table and the others played with him at his house. When we racked up some 9 ball that was what we played in the tournament they started to look for where the "rest of the balls" were LOL How can you own a pool table, play on it, but not know about 9 ball? Or even the real 8 ball rules? Those players are no good for the "sport" or pool, but may be good for the sales of low end cues and such. On the bright side, one of them was very receptive to us teaching him the rules and how to play better, and has been back to play in the tournament even inviting some of his friends. Now that will be great for the sport, but really was driven by us as the other players, not by the industry or pro tour or anything.

-1
This is the type of narrow view that will kill pool. Pool is for everyone, not just the pros and good players :)


Surge, the pool hall that just opened in Chicago, is doing great business already in its first three months, almost entirely "non-players" - couples on dates, fathers teaching their kids, etc. There are multiples more casual players like that than "real players" - and they're what will grow pool as a business - and that's what will grow it as a sport.

If it ain't going mainstream it ain't going anywhere.

pj
chgo

+1 Now this is the positive view I like. Pool must be allowed to grow and not be stifled based on skill level. Anyone who loves and enjoys pool is an asset to the pool community :)
 

Scott Lee

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
I totally agree with Spartan, King T, benjaminwah and others. The negative attitudes of some posters (and it seems to be the same group every time) who seem to think they're better people than some others, drags the whole sport down. For every one of us, our mothers taught us to KEEP QUIET if you don't have something nice to say. That would certainly be a good rule to follow here on AzBilliards.

Scott Lee
http://poolknowledge.com

The same way you can own a car, drive it, and not know where the dipstick is.
 

M.G.

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I wrote up this little report while playing with some new software. I looked at US pool-related google search trends.

I'm rather unsure why you need a new software, but here is all you ever need:

https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=all&q=where to play pool

Or:
https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=all&q=8 ball,9 ball


As for the negative comments, it's really rather simple:
Pool attracts low lifes. People that either WANT or NEED to be better than others, and have some kind of evidence of that, they need the win OVER others, it's their drug.
Then there are the others, that need personal reinforcement - I CAN play pool, so I am a GOOD person, I have value. Being reinforced and feel valuable is their drug.
Then the smallest group are people that ENJOY playing pool, and enjoy playing with others, learning, chatting, having solid relations. They are in it for the fun and personal growth and also teaching others, giving hints. It doesn't mean they dont take it serious - it just means they have no fun in dominating others and just want to have an interesting game.

Cheers,
M
 
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Island Drive

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Thx....interesting stats....Your question about....

What happened in 2009-2010 to make 10-ball popular?

My guess, that ''Spike'' you see in interest, is player related and is not the general public doing the search. Makes me wonder about the other short spikes. Now if the graph/grid areas are wide then the non pool players are involved.
 

garczar

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
We all know that "if its on the Internet it must be true", right? Just kidding. Very interesting data there. The 10ball spike is sorta weird. IMHO, call-shot 10b is the best rotation game but maybe interest is waning. Thanks for posting this.
 

Chopdoc

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I wrote up this little report while playing with some new software. I looked at US pool-related google search trends.

Here is the report: Pool searches.

Here were my conclusions:

Your research does not take into account the growth of the web, it appears to be based on gross hits.

.
 

BRussell

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member

I used an API to google trends rather than the google-provided interface as a simple way to test the new software, R Studio Cloud, which was released in alpha in February, and the RPubs documentation service, which has been around a while but I had never published a document on it before. I use the R programming language in my job.
 

BRussell

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Your research does not take into account the growth of the web, it appears to be based on gross hits.

.

Google doesn’t provide all the details of exactly how they slice up their data, but check the y-axes - the data are scaled from 0-100 relative to the comparisons being made (e.g., over time or compared to other terms). The highest in every graph is always 100 and the lowest is always 0. You’re definitely right that total web searches have gone up over the years, but these numbers are a proportion rather than absolute numbers.
 

Cardigan Kid

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I wrote up this little report while playing with some new software. I looked at US pool-related google search trends.

Here is the report: Pool searches.

Here were my conclusions:

Very good read, and great legwork. Thanks for that.

I'll take a stab at the reasons for that temporary spike in 10 ball popularity....
Wasn't that around the time of the ultimate 10 ball tournament run with big payouts?
Also, I remember the derby big foot 10 ball coming into its own around that time (Jay H was organizing it), becoming one of the more popular events of the DCC.
 
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