This evening I compared two graphs. Search activity on the term “bitcoin” (Google Trends) and MtGox closing value (Bitcoin Charts) over the years 2011 and 2012.
Google Trends (source)
MtGox closing value (source)
Perhaps not surprisingly, these two correlate nicely.
Google Trends offers some context in the form of articles. The spike in june 2011, was a pure hype. In januari of 2012, bitcoin was central in an episode of The good wife. And finally the rising trend in August 2012 seems due to BitInstant’s debit card. They got featured on CNN Money.