Google Trends is an interesting and entertaining analytical tool that shows level of people’s interest in particular topics over some time period. If you want to know popularity for certain topics over the last year or month this is the tool to use.
Google is largest and most widely used search engine on the web with more then 2.5 billion searches conducted every month (more here). By selecting portion of this data and analyzing how many times ‘terms you entered’ have been searched relative to the total number of searches on Google over the days, it generates trends. These trends are based on the real searches conducted by people hence they show trends of community towards the topic. Remember recent buzz regarding US ports takeover? See the trend here
Best part of Google Trends is that it allows you to compare trends for multiple topics simultaneously. For instance, you can compare terms ‘shorts’ and ‘sweater‘, and from the graph you can easily see differences in the trends during winter and summer periods. Or here a trend comparing “Brad Pitt”,”Angelina Jolie” and “Jeniffer Aniston”. It seems that until the spike in the mid 2004, terms Brad Pitt and Jeniffer Aniston follow similar trend and same happens with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie after the spike, in my opinion this spike occured at the same time when the rumors of Jeniffer and Brat splitting came out.
Some Google Trends Features:
- compare up to five terms by separating them with comma.
- an option to see how many searches contained either of the two terms, just separate those terms with a vertical bar: “|” (eg: ipod|nano) instead of comma.
- compare multi-word terms by surrounding them using brackets [ex: (winter mittens), gloves ]
- exclude terms from your trend using the minus sign (ex. if you want trend for bags but not gucchi made ones then use bags-gucchi)
- restrict your search to particular region or time frame, through drop down menu on the top right corner of the screen
- News-reference volume graph displays the number of times term appeared in the news.
- some points on the graphs have related news that have occured at that time.You can observe it usually on the spikes.
- view trens in different cities, regions and languages
Oh, keep in mind that Google trends is a part of Google Labs meaning that it is still under early stages of development and several changes are still to come. For more questions you can visit Google Trends – FAQ. There are some more trends for you here, ronaldinho, beckham, israel, lebanon or cat, dog, fish, bird. If you find some interesting trends drop it in the comment line, so we can check them out as well.