But how did Google's algorithm fare during this year's fierce outbreak? Flu reached epidemic levels in January and--pertinent for the Flu Trends algorithm--was widely covered in the news. Would the widespread news coverage cause healthy people to enter influenza keywords into their search bars, thereby skewing Google's results? We updated our graphic from last year to find out. Indeed, Google's methods seem to wildly overstate the outbreak's severity, outstripping the CDC's figures by nearly a factor of two. It's worth noting that we're assuming sick people visited the hospital at the same rate as in previous years--in other words, that the CDC isn't suddenly under-reporting influenza.