I've compiled a list, using the Overture Keyword Selector tool, of all the Internet searches for shopping malls in most of northern California. It's an interesting gauge that determines the most (and least) popular malls, based on strictly on what people are searching for. Unfortunately, it doesn't tell us anything more, such as, what type of information Internet users are looking for, and whether they found it. Nonetheless, here are the top 10 malls, based on popular searches in April 2006:
1) Westfield Valley Fair, San Jose - 6762 searches (regrettably, more than one mall in North America uses this name, so I can't verify if they were looking for the one in San Jose).
2) Great Mall, Milpitas - 6623 searches (again, this is a popular name Mills Corp uses for its outlet malls across the country).
3) Santana Row, San Jose - 6452 searches
4) Union Square, San Francisco - 6445 searches (also undetermined since there is a popular Union Square in New York).
5) Stanford Shopping Center, Palo Alto - 4269 searches
6) Gilroy Premium Outlets - 4061 searches
7) Stoneridge Shopping Center, Pleasanton - 3947 searches
8) Summit Sierra, Reno - 3747 searches (regrettably, a popular ski resort uses this name, too).
9) Pier 39, San Francisco - 3571 searches
10) The Mall at Northgate, San Rafael - 3459 searches (although this is doubtful since a more popular Northgate Mall in Seattle is the most likely recipient of these searches).
Now for the least popular malls based on Internet searches:
1) Reno Town Mall, Reno - 30 searches
2) Shopper's Square, Reno - 31 searches
3) Princeton Plaza Mall, San Jose - 41 searches
4) Almaden Plaza, San Jose - 65 searches
5) St. Helena Premier Outlets - 82 searches
6) Willows Shopping Center, Concord - 95 searches
7) Alameda Towne Centre, Alameda - 98 searches (most people are still used to the old name, "South Shore Center." Plus, "towne" and "centre" aren't usual American English spellings).
8) Somersville Towne Center, Antioch - 120 searches (again, some people are still using the old name, "County East Mall.")
9) Carmel Plaza, Carmel-By-The-Sea - 149 searches
10) Sunnyvale Town Center, Sunnyvale - 167 searches (it's closed).