EC also played a healthy hand in marketing. As I’ve already detailed, erotic romance did exist before EC we just…..didn’t know what to call it.
In 2004, Google started tracking searches with Google Trends. For whatever reason, EC didn’t start getting traction until November 2004. I’ve posted this graph before, but here it is again.
What’s been fascinating to me since looking at this graph was how long Ellora’s Cave has been in a Google trend long, slow slide compared to erotic romance.
Recognize that this graph doesn’t discuss how many searches there are, or whether the overall popularity of the term is increasing or decreasing. Just what the relative ranking of two terms are, one against the other, and both total 100 added together when you’re looking at the best month for the two terms combined.
Romantica as a term is confusing because there are other uses for it that have nothing to do with EC, and the manga series and the band are the two top hits for the term. EC’s use doesn’t even register on Google trends.
Here’s another interesting graph, though, one I hadn’t posted before:
Overall, romance novel as a search term tracks pretty well with erotic romance. Romance novel has a slight downward trend until late 2010, then turns upward.
What does that mean? Well, it means Google searches for romance novel and erotic romance are healthy.
The same can’t be said of Ellora’s Cave as a search term. Also note that this doesn’t disambiguate searches for the caves in India.
Want to play with search terms? Here’s a Google Trends link for you.