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Using the term “iPhone” in your Google searches brings joy to the search giant

During high-profile trials, many closely guarded secrets become public knowledge. Even though Judge Amit Mehta, who is presiding over the Google trial, has mostly abided by the search giant’s request to redact documents and hear witness accounts in private, an important list has been shared with the public.
As first spotted by The Verge, the official website of the Department of Justice has published a document regarding the search and YouTube ads revenue. Although many important bits have been hidden, we do get to see the 20 Google queries made by US users that generated the most revenue in the week of September 22, 2018.

Here are the queries:

  • iphone 8
  • iphone 8 plus
  • auto insurance
  • car insurance
  • cheap flights
  • car insurance quotes
  • direct tv
  • online colleges
  • at&t
  • hulu
  • iphone
  • uber
  • spectrum
  • comcast
  • xfinity
  • insurance quotes
  • free credit report
  • cheap car insurance
  • aarp
  • lifelock
As you may have noticed, three of the top 20 money-making queries were about the iPhone. The top keywords were the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, which were over a year old at that time and were succeeded by the iPhone XR and XS quite recently. The 11th most popular query was ‘iPhone.’

The amount of revenue that these search terms bought is not known, but this is nonetheless an important piece of information.

Google doesn’t make money on all search queries. That’s because not all searches can be linked to a purchase intent. So, for instance, if someone searches for a recent incident or a famous historical personality, they are definitely not looking to buy anything.

Only 20 percent of Google search queries are commercial in nature. This means that these are the queries for which businesses like to place ads. In the case of competitive and expensive industries, advertisers bid on search keywords.

Since the iPhone 8 was only a year old during the week of September 22, 2018, retailers, wireless service providers, and accessory manufacturers were probably spending a lot on ads for products related to it.

Similarly, “cheap flights” and “online colleges” are search terms that can be monetized. Someone searching for “Xfinity” or “Uber” is probably just trying to visit those sites, but bands often buy ad space for search terms with their own name because they don’t want a competitor to steal that space.

Apple probably spent a lot to make the Apple Store appear at the top for searches related to the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus.

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