With the 85th annual Academy Awards drawing to a close, one question remains — how good of a job did Google’s search popularity do at indicating which films would win? The answer is "pretty good." Of the six awards for which it hazarded a guess, Google correctly predicted four — Best Picture (Argo), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Anne Hathaway for Les Misérables), Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Christoph Waltz for Django Unchained), and Best Actress in a Leading Role (Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook). Following the show, Lawrence also took the "award" for Most-Googled Oscar Nominee Across All Categories.

Simple Google search popularity isn't that far off the mark

Of course, as far as algorithms go, you could always look at other major awards like the Golden Globes, and weigh each of them by their historical predictive power. But it turns out that simple Google search popularity isn’t that far off the mark.