We all know about the book Fifty Shades of Grey; if you haven't read it yourself, you will still know at least 7 or 8 people who have. It's become a phenomenon. Such a success in fact, that it is impacting upon user's search behaviour.
For those of you unaware as to the theme of Fifty Shades of Grey, it's basically a mainstream erotic novel for the ladies. In places, it becomes rather explicit in its descriptions and nature of sexual activity taking place, with S&M being a popular activity!
For all the S&M connoisseur's reading this (you know who you are), you will know that nipple clamps are a popular toy. Why sticking painful metal clamps on the nipples of both men and women is a good thing, is way over my head, but nevertheless it seems to have intrigued people reading the book. So excited are the people reading about the characters in the book using nipple clamps in the bedroom, it seems that they are searching Google to buy a pair!
The above graph shows a steady year-round trend for the term "nipple clamps" up until April 2012, the month that 50 Shades of Grey started to leak into the mainstream. In the following months as sales of 50 Shades of Grey grew, so did the popularity of the search term "nipple clamps".
By the start of August 2012, the number of people in the UK searching Google for the term "nipple clamps" rose by over 400%!
This pattern is seen accros a number of other related terms and toys mentioned in the book, but is most pronounced with nipple clamps.
Just one, slightly whacky, example of how offline activity can influence online behaviour!
By Paul Martin - Expert in SEO, not so much in bedroom toys.