Who is Herman Cain?


Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain speaks to the media outside of Trump Towers before a scheduled appearance with real estate mogul Donald Trump on October 3, 2011, in New York City.


Spencer Platt

Google Trends, which monitors what people are searching for on the web, can tell you many things. It lets you know if there was suddenly an earthquake in DC, if a new TV show has started and often what teams are playing in that night's game.

In the past 48 hours, it has also provided an insight into the U.S. presidential campaign.

Yesterday, when a certain Republican candidate started moving up in the polls, we knew just how unknown this candidate was to many Americans. Suddenly the name "Herman Cain" -- as in "who is Herman Cain? Let me Google him" -- was a trending search term on Google.

And today, with the news that Cain had moved into a tie with Mitt Romney as the leading Republican presidential candidates, according to a CBS News poll, people were no longer trying to figure out who is Herman Cain. They moved on to searching "Herman Cain for president."

Of course, as well as Cain may be doing in the polls, not everyone on the web cares about American presidential politics. The news about Apple's iPhone 4s continues to be the most talked about topic. Yesterday, most of the searches related to Apple -- as in "Apple stock." Today, it appears many have made up their mind about their phone of choice and now need accessories. The number 8 hottest Google search term is "best iphone 4 case."

More from GlobalPost: United States of Apple: Is it a cult? (PHOTOS)

DISCUSSION: Do you use Google Trends? What does it tell you about how people use the web? And should we care?