Google Doodle Strikes Again! 5.35 million hours strummed

Happy birthday to guitar legend, Les Paul who would have been 96 today!

Google launched its Les Paul Tribute Doodle on Thursday which allowed users to record and playback friend’s recordings or just play along. Almost immediately you could hear the rumblings on Twitter and Facebook about this great musician’s effect on music and many aspiring musicians – lots of people were doing their best Les Paul impersonations all the while Google entertained the masses. As one Twitter user said, “he’s the REAL guitar hero!”

Here’s what we saw on Thursday:

Les Paul Doodle by Google

We immediately saw tweets coming in for the trending tag #lespaul at a speed of 20 tweets/sec or more while writing this article. With each major online publication commenting and recommending the Les Paul Doodle, traffic was way up and people kept talking all day!

Les Paul Google Doodle

Along with the excited buzz surrounding the Les Paul Doodle, there plenty of tweets regarding the loss in productivity that it was causing. We saw hundreds of tweets similar like:

Tweet about Productivity

Last year we reported on the effect of Google’s playable Pac-Man Doodle, so as a follow up we ran the numbers to see if the Les Paul Doodle consumed a similar amount of users time.

We looked at ~18,500 random RescueTime users who spent time on Google search pages. In previous time periods, users spent a very consistent 4.5 minutes (+/- 3 seconds) actively using Google search. However, when Google released the Les Paul Doodle, the average user spent 26 seconds MORE on than in previous time periods. On average, users spent 36 more seconds time on last year’s Pac-Man Doodle, so you would think that the Les Paul Doodle had less impact. Wrong. According to Wolfram Alpha and Alexa, Google’s daily unique vistor count is up to 740 million versus the 505 million last year.

  • Google’s Les Paul Doodle consumed an additional 5,350,789 hours of time versus the 4,819,352 hours consumed by the Pac-Man Doodle
  • $133,769,725 is the dollar tally, If the average Google user has a COST of $25/hr (note that cost is 1.3 – 2.0 X pay rate)
  • Users did not spend much more total time at their computer than previous periods, but they did spend 10% more time at Google’s website than they typically would, meaning that the 10% more time spent at Google was stolen from other computer use time
We are already looking forward to the next interactive Doodle and wondering how it will stack up.

About the data:
RescueTime provides a time management tool to allow individuals and businesses to track their time and attention to see where their days go (and to help them get more productive!). We have hundreds of millions of man hours of second-by-second attention data from hundreds of thousands of users around the world, tracking both inside and outside the browser. The data for this report was compiled from roughly 18,500 randomly selected Google users.

About our software:
If you want to see how productive you are vs the rest of our users, you should check out our service. We offer both individual and group plans (pricing starts at FREE).


  1. (a quick note from Brian Fioca, RescueTime co-founder)
    If you just read what Jason wrote above and are thinking, “Thank you, Buzz Killington,” let me just add that the average time our most productive users spend on work related tasks per day is 3 hours(!). So if you put in your 3-4 hours of productive time, go nuts on that guitar doodle. We also show that if you work too many hours straight in a row you’ll have a down week next week. But all of that is for a future blog post. END PSA

  2. This was absolutely fun to put together. Joe Hruska our CEO did all of the heavy lifting in terms of metrics, but it’s great to have data and be able to share it with the GeekWire community. Our RescueTimer’s are the juice that makes this engine go – thanks for reading.

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