Who is the starriest of all the starchitects? Frank, Norman or Zaha? Or maybe Daniel Libeskind or Richard Rogers of Chelsea Barracks fame?
Well according to Google the most searched for living architects are Frank Gehry and Zaha Hadid.
The search engine reckons that there are 135,000 searches for these two architects in a typical month. Norman Foster trails home in fourth (74,000 searches) behind Renzo Piano (90,500), while Jean Nouveau barely registers with 2,900 (obviously more of an architect's architect).
It's clear some architects such have a higher profile among the architectural media than the general public. Ken Shuttleworth, for instance, received only 1,000 searches, while niche-comedian and namesake John Shuttleworth received over 8,000 searches.
There were 40,500 searches for Richard Rogers who at least beat his Chelsea Barracks rival Quinlan Terry into a cocked hat - Prince Charles' favourite architect only mustered 1,300 searches.
Apart from the curiosity of seeing how the public ranks starchitects Google's keyword search tool does have a genuine use. It's a must-have for anybody wanting to optimise their websites for Google searches.
It offers insight into the sort of search terms that people might use to find your website content.
For instance, if you type Frank Gehry into Google's keyword search tool we find out that 14,800 people a month search for Frank O Gehry (with the O standing for Owen).
Optimising your page for Frank Gehry is the obvious thing to do but chances are you will be competing with zillions of other websites all doing the same thing.
Other popular Frank Gehry related searches are:
- Frank Ghery (misspelling): 8,100
- Gehry (is there another famous Ghery?): 165,000
- Frank architect: 8,100
Top of the misspellings league is Daniel Libeskind, who attracted 4,400 searches for Daniel Liebeskind and 40,000 for Liebeskind. If you're responsible for SEO on a website with a tricky-to-spell name I would put optimising misspellings on the top of your to-do list.
And even if the name isn't tricky to spell eg Richard Rogers, I would check that too. A staggering 18,100 people decided that the great architect is actually called Richard Rodgers.
Top starchitect searches on Google
I asked Building's architect blogger Dan Stewart, off the top of his head, who he thought were the world's most famous architects. His ten suggestions are listed below and alongside is the number of average google searches per month. I've also included the main near-misses to give a rough idea of who gets the most searches.
- Frank Gehry: 135,000
frank O gehry: 14,800
- Zaha Hadid: 135,000
- Renzo Piano: 90,500
- Libeskind: 40,500
Daniel Libeskind: 27,100
- Rem Koolhaas: 74,000
- Norman Foster: 74,000
Sir Norman Foster: 3,600
- Richard Rogers: 40,500
Richard Rodgers: 18,100
- Cesar Pelli: 9,000
- Jean Nouveau: 2,900
- Vinoly: 8,100
Rafael Vinoly 4,400
Raphael Vinoly 590