We’ve seen the memes, made the jokes and discussed the headlines. Is it just me or is the Occupy Wall Street movement so yesterday?

When I mentioned my idea for this column, it sparked some friendly office debate. I got a lot of “It’s not over!” and “Don’t kill the movement!” from coworkers. Their quick reactions to my proposal made me want to write this column that much more. I am not trying to say anything negative about the movement, I am just saying it is old news — a natural progression for anything really.

Occupy Wall Street is Over: Proof in the Numbers

While the actual event is still going on, I believe the Occupy Wall Street trend is over. Initially, I noticed interest waning when I started to hear fewer reports of the protests on media outlets such as Bloomberg and ABC-7 radio. Wanting to put concrete evidence to my theory I turned to the internet.

Google Trends Provides Hard Numbers

I hopped on to Google Trends to see what the search history for “Occupy Wall Street” would show and was not at all surprised to see a sharp decline this month.

The ‘A’ shows where searches peaked, which was around October 9, 2011 according to a more detailed Google report. At this date search traffic was 12.4 times the average amount of search traffic for Occupy Wall Street in 2011, which dropped off to 6.1 just three weeks later. Unfortunately you could not compare the view over the past three months, since the movement began.

You could see the change over the past 30 days; Occupy Wall Street searches dropped from the highest point of 2.06 on Oct. 15 to .56 in early November. Reasons for the spikes in October were because of altercations with police and larger marches in Washington.

The news reference volume below the search volume index shows how many times the term Occupy Wall Street appeared in Google News Stories.

Twitter Shows A Drop Too 

Doing a simple search for “Trending Tweets” brings you to the website Trendistic, where you can plug in terms to see how many are tweeting about them. Since Occupy Wall Street heavily utilized social media to get the word out I figured this was a pretty good indicator. Shown below is a screenshot taken from Trendistic showing the declining tweets.

According to this chart, tweets containing “Occupy Wall Street” dropped from .08% of all time tweets in mid-October to .01% in mid-November. Yet another example that the buzz around Occupy Wall Street is dying.

OWS Catered to American’s Short Attention Spans

Before you start drafting your hate mail, consider the fact that I am just reporting figures and statistics.

We are a culture of immediate gratification, we need satisfaction and we need it now.

Although the idea behind Occupy Wall Street is a great one, at the end of the day, this movement gained traction because it was a sensational story that the media could latch onto. The public wants easily digestible stories which can be read in between meetings or for distraction.

Just because media buzz has died down is it justifiable to call the movement over? Yes (remember this is an opinion piece here). It is my prediction that interest will drop along with the temperature, unless there is one more sensational story about someone dying of frostbite, or not leaving the park day or night — even so, it would extend the impending death of the movement just a tad bit longer.

I think there is another important question ask: was (excuse my use of past tense) the movement successful? Yes (still an opinion piece, guys).

Occupy Wall Street: Success

I have had a lot of feelings towards the protests, ranging from negative to frustrated to positive. I even went down to visit the protesters myself and had an eye-opening experience. When all is said and done, I think the protests have made a positive impact on our nation. With an upcoming election in the works, many politicians are trying to figure how to cater to the anger of the protesters. Even if the intentions of the politicians are selfish, the results may be just what the country needs.

There are so many examples of ways the protests have been a success. Bank of America® rescinding their $5 debit card swipe fee is the largest example from the banking end. More and more people are realizing the power of the internet to voice their grievances. Financial companies are structuring business models around providing more truth and transparency to consumers.

All these changes have been sparked by individuals banding together to show their disgust with the state of the country — the initial goal of the protesters. Good job guys! Now I think it’s time to go home, warm up and think about applicable solutions.

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  • Maccs021

    This is false. If you look at the peeks, they happen on anniversaries and events. Wait for the 17th and youll see it shoot up  higher than ever before. Worst article ive ever read.

  • Maccs021

    Also , check the amount posting occupy wall street in that time and then look for the 500 other occupations that are taking place that people are talking about. I bet that the total numbers are 10x that amount come nov. 17

  • Maccasd

    Wait wait wait, not to mention you didnt even do #OWS which is the official hashtag.. jesus 

    • Marina

      Hi Maccasd,

      Thank you so much for your responses. I wrote this to get conversation going and to encourage others’ to voice their opinions so I am glad it worked! I refrained from using the #OWS hashtag because this is an article and not a tweet therefore I didn’t see a need to include hashtags, it was used as an abbreviation.

      Also, since following the movement before it started, I believe that the “official” hashtag is technically #occupywallstreet. Thanks again for you responses!

      I look forward to seeing if your predictions prove me wrong.


      • I came to MyBankTracker from the NYT article on shady new bank fees intended to quietly gouge customers. Didn’t really expect to see a ham-fisted opinion piece on Occupy Wall Street.

        #OWS will succeed EXACTLY because of this the of arrogant greed from the 1%. I moved my money from Bank of America to my alma mater’s Credit Union and am much happier.

        Plus, it’s got school spirit instead of a relentless pursuit of CEO enrichment.

        • Richard

          “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated”

          >”I noticed interest waning when I started to hear fewer reports of the protests on media outlets such as Bloomberg and ABC-7 radio.”
          >”Google Trends Provides Hard Numbers”
          >”Twitter Shows A Drop Too”
          >”Although the idea behind Occupy Wall Street is a great one, at the end of the day, this movement gained traction because it was a sensational story that the media could latch onto.”

          “The way that we distinguish ourselves from protests is we don’t leave,” Bruner said. “We took [Zuccotti Park]. We’re not giving that up… But people still think that’s the only place where Occupy is happening. It’s wherever people choose for it to happen.”

  • Guest

    yeah, this article is conservative propaganda.  OWS is just beginning.  watch out wall street.

  • Guest

    These criticisms are a little weak.  You say the author is wrong and point to an event which has not yet taken place as evidence.  Really?

    Someone didn’t use a hashtag correctly and their legitimacy is destroyed?  What world do you live in?



    • Marina

      Hi there,

      Yes, we are a site about banks, but the reason we were created was to bring transparency to the banking industry. We encourage readers review their banks in our “Reviews” section so other readers can make educated decisions when choosing a bank. As mentioned before, this is an opinion piece where I explored the way media shapes societies interest, my words were no way impacted by anyone in the banking industry. 

      Thanks for reading again!


  • Anony Mouse

    Maybe you’ve never slept in a tent in below freezing weather.
    Or shivered as the rain dripped through the thin walls of the non-winter-ready tent.

    These people’s ranks may have thinned along with the weather but their resolve continues pounding, just like the drums you will hear many of the evenings. 

    Among the many words of the founding fathers and revolutionaries, remember one more quotation :  “I have not yet begun to fight”  – John Paul Jones

  • Anonymous

    This is such a fluffy silly article. I also came here from the NYT piece, read the ‘about’ section, was initially excited about what seems to be a really cool company doing good work, and then subsequently appalled by this piece. “Get the discussion going”?  With a superficial provokative title and a deeply uninformed analysis that misses the point? I think the protestors are doing fine “getting the discussion going” without this inanity. Ms. Shifrin’s “journalism” is undermining this site’s credibility. 

  • guest

    To all the negative commentators:


    I think the author makes a great point. Take a moment to
    re-read the article and then to think about the objective of Occupy Wall Street.
    The movement has gained popularity not only because of its message, but because
    of their ability to grab the media’s attention through catchy signs and camping
    out. The news stories that covered OWS were mostly fluff with little
    information and lots of hype. For real change to occur, the movement must take
    another step. You have the nation’s attention, now what will you do with it?  

  • hi

    I find these comments to be horrible as the author is writing her opinion on the #OWS and all the people commenting are proteters that while they’re protesting about not having jobs they could get jobs

    • m.Caruso

      I agree why protest when with that time you could find a job?

  • Guest

    Looks like the author of the article
    was able to see the things in there perspective and in the different angle, so
    why she have been accused of propaganda . This is a free country and we are entitle
    in our own opinion. This is an interesting article which provide you with new
    data and information and it makes you think. That’s what we want from the media.

  • Maryana

    I, for one, like the article.  I don’t view it as criticizing the OWS movement per se, just discussing that the movement may be waning.  Pretty light stuff.  I believe that OWS is all about democracy and freedom of speech and Ms. Shifrin just tried to report facts. If the movement is full of the kind of people who have criticized this article, I think the movement needs a few more open minds.

  • L.

    How refreshing it is to know that there are journalists out there that are not afraid to express different opinions from mass media. And how sad and interesting; the people that support liberal movements do not allow other people to have their own opinion

  • Mona

    =Thank you Marina. I find yor thinking to be spot-on.I sense the uselessnes that the OWS movement feel.If they GREW UP ……… they’d have to find jobs and be responsible citizens.
    Its never going to happen.Your clear thinking has helped me to betterexpress my own thoughts on OWS.

  • Polina Panich

    Thank you for Sparking healthy debate. Ironically the supporters of the movement although want to be able to offer their point of you aren’t willing to listen to other’s. Let’s go back to all making a living by farming and see how that works out for all. I don’t think anyone will be asking for your inputs, OWS in that scenario. As no one side of this movement is 100% right such differing opinions and debates will get us to the best solution. Thank you marina for ensuring that all points of view are considered!

  • Jack Smith

    Marina Shifrin, your 15 minutes are over!   You were premature to dismiss the movement, now lets see you premature predict its total success.