Google predicts Oscar winners with search data

past winnersWarning: If you have put a lot of faith in Google search stats and want to be surprised by the opening of that little envelope on Oscar night, do not read on. Otherwise, proceed.

According to Google, this year’s Academy Award for Best Picture will go to The Social Network. The search giant explains in a blog post that for the last three years, the film that sees an the most significant upward trend leading up to the big night takes home an Oscar. Google even backs up its talk with graphs from the last three Oscar seasons, showing No Country for Old Men (2008), Slumdog Millionaire (2009), and The Hurt Locker (2010) each experiencing huge traffic boosts in the months and weeks before the show.

Google reports that Blank Swan, The King’s Speech and The Fighter have also been trending, but haven’t seen the spike that The Social Network has, making it Google’s pick for February 27.

You can check out Google’s Oscar Search Trends site to see how other categories are turning out – that is, if you’re willing to possibly sacrifice the element of surprise.