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On Google, 'turkey' gobbles a lot of bytes each November

Searches for the bird, not the country, experience a massive jump around Thanksgiving and a smaller one around Christmas.

November 26, 2009|By Mark Milian

Sorry, Istanbul, we're looking for the bird.

Despite there being an entire country named Turkey, it's the yearly American Thanksgiving tradition that leads to a huge boost in Google searches for the term.

Google Trends, a feature offered by the Mountain View, Calif., Internet giant, has the trend line for searches for the word "turkey" over the last five years, and it shows a massive jolt around Thanksgiving every year and a smaller one around Christmas.

Google hadn't yet updated its search statistics for late Wednesday, but it appeared that there was an uptick toward the end of the graph.

Over the last five years, Turkey the country has maintained the top spot where people search for "turkey," followed by Britain and the U.S. But during November, it's USA all the way.

"Tryptophan," the amino acid that causes drowsiness after large amounts of turkey are consumed, also sees a stratospheric jump in late-November.

It's surprising Web surfers manage to stay awake long enough to type that in -- let alone spell it correctly.

mark.milian@latimes.com

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