In brief

  • Elon Musk likes to tweet about Dogecoin.
  • When he does, the cryptocurrency usually gets a boost in Google interest.
  • Correlation does not imply causation, but Musk implies Doge is awesome.

On December 20, 2020, Tesla CEO Elon Musk shared an eloquent and urgent message with his Twitter followers. 

“One word: DOGE.”

That word captivated a nation, nay, an entire world. The masses rushed to their keyboards, eager to know more about this coin called Doge. 

Search volumes for Dogecoin—created as an alternative payment system to banks or Bitcoin in 2013—rose to a record high by the week of January 3-9. After riding a bull market, Dogecoin is now almost worth a whole penny!

Dogecoin is a bit of a running joke (coin) with Musk, who has been intermittently tweeting about it for two years.

On April 2, 2019, Musk shared a satirical article from The Onion about Bitcoin price volatility and added: “Dogecoin value may vary.”

He then replied to another comment, claiming, “Dogecoin might be my fav cryptocurrency. It’s pretty cool.”

Look on Google Trends, and you’ll see a spike in “Dogecoin” searches from March 31 to April 6, the highest level of interest in the term in six months. Was it Elon’s doing? Could be!

Over a year later, on April 25, 2020, the South African businessman reacted to his own esoteric meme about GPUs (maybe) with “Dogecoin Mode.”

Was it a reference to the Model 3? Who knows! But people were curious to find out. Maybe. Dogecoin searches doubled in the week of April 26 to May 2.

Google Search trends for "Dogecoin" over the last 5 years. Image: Google
Google Search trends for "Dogecoin" over the last 5 years. Image: Google

He wasn’t done. On July 17 of that year Musk responded to an ostensibly irate YouTuber who wanted some Bitcoin with: “Excuse me, I only sell Doge!”

And interest in Dogecoin went...down? Yes. Dogecoin was already on the downswing of a search surge that month after a TikToker urged his followers to buy $25 of Doge. “Let's all get rich!" he said. "Dogecoin is practically worthless. There are 800 million TikTok users. Once it hits $1, you'll have $10,000. Tell everyone you know!" (Spoiler alert: Doge did not go to $1.00, and no one got rich.)

Musk had more cryptic comments left in him, tweeting about the cryptocurrency on November 17 in reference to a Tesla supercomputer.

Was there a spike in Google searches? A few days later there was a tiny blip, so we’re counting it!

Which brings us to December 20. In the aftermath of Musk’s single-syllable endorsement, search queries went higher than ever. 

Well, that’s one narrative, anyway. Actually, other cryptocurrency search terms hit records during that period, including Ethereum, because prices were rising. Bitcoin queries went up as well, too, though not as high as during the December 2017 bull run. After all, the least someone can do before throwing their money at speculative assets for the first time is to run a Google search. 

Or they could just take Musk’s word for it.