Here is what I mean by the era of the Kardashians being over. Once upon a time, there was no bigger personality in the United States than Kim Kardashian. That’s a bit of an exaggeration, certainly, and at certain points others usurped her title. Until Donald Trump announced his candidacy for the presidency, Kardashian completely obliterated him in search interest on Google; people would Google her name an order of magnitude more often than his. Powered by her show (her family’s show, technically), “Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” Kim was the queen of the Internet.
But then, as often happens with women in entertainment, Kim (and sisters Khloe and Kourtney) found themselves increasingly usurped by younger women. Namely: Their sisters Kendall and Kylie. Unlike Kim et al., Kendall and Kylie are Jenners. I won’t go into the family tree; if you’re reading this and don’t know how Kris Jenner, Robert Kardashian and Caitlyn Jenner are all interrelated, I’m not sure you’re going to care to much about the rest of this thing.
So that was the transition I was curious about. Were the Jenners (in total) now more popular than the Kardashians (in total)?
Before I could answer that question I had to answer another one: To which clan does Kris Jenner belong? She’s the matriarch of the Kardashian girls, but her last name is Jenner. I did what any self-respecting Kardashian researcher would do: I asked the Internet.
If you had to pick, would you say Kris Jenner is a Jenner or a Kardashian?— Philip Bump (@pbump) October 19, 2017
Kris Jenner is a Kardashian.
So, next, I broke out the rest of the family into four categories, as below:
- Primary Kardashians: Kris, Kim, Khloe, Kourtney
- Secondary Kardashians: Rob
- Primary Jenners: Kendall, Kylie, Caitlyn
- Secondary Jenners: Brody, Brandon
There is a lot to fight about in that categorization, certainly. Feel free; I’m at peace with it.
Then I bothered Google to give me two sets of data. The first was the relative search interest in each of the above people over the past decade, and the second was relative search interest over the past year. (Google’s Trends data is all pegged to the most search traffic for one of the terms. A 100 is the most search traffic in the time period for one of the search terms and the rest of the results are related to that peak.)
Here’s what I learned.
Since 2007, the Kardashians, major and minor, have been the overwhelming focus of Google search interest. But in 2015, thanks to a combination of interest in Kylie Jenner and Caitlyn Jenner — during her transition — the Jenners took the lead. (The small blue or red blocks at the top and bottom of the chart indicate which family got more search traffic that month.) The Jenners again took the lead just recently, powered, again, by Kylie (who, you have probably heard, is pregnant).
Over the decade, Kim was consistently the most searched person, as we mentioned above. But that has changed over the past year and a half. In more than half of the last 21 months, Kylie has attracted more search interest than anyone else in the family. (The Jenner boys attract basically none ever.)
Drilling into the past year, we see a more regular back-and-forth between the two groups. Of the past 13 weeks, the Jenners have been more searched in six and the Kardashians in six. (One week was a tie.)
As it stands, the Kardashians beat the Jenners in 119 of 128 months. If Kris is considered a Jenner, the margin becomes 114 to 14.
You’ll notice on that chart the most dominant performance by any secondary participant in our contest. That, of course, is thanks to Rob Kardashian, whose off-again-off-again-still-off relationship with his half-sister’s ex-boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend (what a world!) captured a lot of interest. In fact, interest in Rob during the week of July 2 was the most search attention any Kardashian or Jenner got all year. (You can see the Rob blip on the charts above, too.)
But, generally speaking, the battle is between Kim and Kylie. Since the summer, thanks largely to her pregnancy, Kylie’s been beating Kim in search traffic regularly.
Keeping up with the Kardashians? The Jenners are repeatedly surpassing them.
Again, I know: This is all beneath you, and this was not a good use of time and so on. But, then, you still read to the end, didn’t you?