Researching popular search terms can actually be a lot of fun sometimes. As you saw from my last update on Google compared to the rest of the world, doing brand comparisons between competing companies can really tell you a lot about who’s “winning” in the public domain. Of course, Internet search trends can tell you much more than that. They can help you identify niche topics that are on the cusp of exploding onto the mainstream. They can also help you identify breaking trends long before the topic even hits the newswires.
Rumors and word of mouth – or word-of-Facebook (is that a phrase? It should be!) – are what really feed the initial spikes in search interest. Not long after that follows the news reports, then the explosion in search volume, and then the topic will either eventually disappear right off the radar again, or it’ll grow some legs and start running.
In this update, I’m going to take a look at Google Trend buzz searches from the past couple of weeks. Top buzz identified at Google Trends covers topics ranging from entertainment to politics and occasionally, yes, technology. It’s the latest tech news that I decided to hunt for. I’ve identified five new search terms that are exploding across the Internet, and may indicate latest tech stories that you could very well see in the news very soon.
Breaking Search Trends in the Latest Tech
When it comes to search buzz, spotting the search term isn’t the whole story. It usually requires a bit of investigating to see why people are searching in such high volume for that topic. Trust me – it isn’t always obvious, and a lot of these searches seem very strange and random. That is, until you realize why people are searching for it.
In this case, I’m focusing on Google Trends to find the high-volume buzz phrases being searched for, but as Craig described in his article, there are a number of other services you can use to find those trends.
In this article, I’m going to explore four of the highest-volume latest tech terms over the last couple of weeks and we’re going to identify why people are searching for them. In some cases, it may be obvious – it may be news you’ve already heard about. In other cases, you may very well learn about something new!
The Ouya Kickstarter Project
In June of 2012, searches for “Ouya” went crazy. I’m not sure exactly how to pronounce the brand, but I’m pretty sure it’s pronounced “oooh yeeeeaaahh!!!” based on the concept.
PC Magazine covered the Ouya Kickstarter project in July of 2012, when the Kickstarter project with a goal of $950,000, blew past $1 million in contributions. By August of 2012, the project to build a $99 3-inch cube game console that offers free games that you can play on a TV screen, topped out its Kickstarter campaign at an impressive $8.5 million, split among 60,000 contributors. The success of the project depended heavily upon whether or not Android developers would have an interest in developing games for the small, cheap Android gaming console. So, what recently caused folks to jump back into searching for this young gaming console again?
Well, let me break it to you this way. If you’ve never heard of Ouya before, and it sounds like something you might want to buy – you’re out of luck. After receiving an additional $15 million in venture capital on top of the amount already collected at Kickstarter, the console finally went on sale on Tuesday, June 25th. It was sold out on Amazon and Target by Tuesday afternoon. Web surfers are searching frantically for “console ouya”, “kickstarter ouya”, “android ouya” and “ouya games”.
iOS 7 Beta 2
Okay – some booming search trends are pretty darn easy to figure out without a whole lot of digging. Such is the case for “ios 7 beta 2”. iOS 7 may only be due out this fall, but on the week of June 24th, Apple released iOS 7 Beta 2 to developers via Software Update, and as a download at developer.apple.com. Based on the frantic search volume for the beta version of iOS 7, I don’ t think iPhone users have to worry very much about having enough apps to choose from when iOS 7 is released this fall.
There really wasn’t much of a buildup to this trend – the moment news hit, search engine trends went ballistic with search queries for the download.
Twitter Launches Vine Video
These days, when Facebook or Twitter sneezes, the search engines catch a cold. This is exactly what happened when Twitter finally launched its new video sharing service called Vine after weeks of rumors about the project, as posted by Dave on the 25th of January.
As is typical with new products or any news that touches upon a commonly used word, there already exists a baseline search volume before the news hits. This was the case with the word “vine” – but when the latest tech rumors started in the first part of 2013 about this impending video service, you could see a small surge in the search trend. This finally spiked out once the announcement was made and the news stories started rolling in.
It’s not always easy to predict how well a new service that Facebook or Twitter launches will do, but if these search numbers are any indication, Vine is going to be a very popular feature at Twitter – in fact most users are already jumping right on the bandwagon. There’s already a Facebook page called “Funniest Vine Videos”, and you’ve got tech bloggers launching category pages focused on Vine already. As announced by Tim on the 21st of this month, Facebook had just announced its 15 second video capture to Instagram service, and searches for “Instagram video” have spiked as well. Clearly, the battle is on!
Who Cares About Xbox?
As one would expect, the term “xbox” always has a fairly healthy search volume with no real surprises, so I almost didn’t cover this one because the “buzz” was on the end of a normal upswing in search volume than a major spike, but the news that caused it was remarkable enough. On June 19, Microsoft announced that Xbox One users wouldn’t have to keep their game consoles constantly connected to the Internet in order to avoid restrictions on selling used games.
The news definitely fueled an uptick in searches for “xbox” as noted on Google Trends, but the news did spark an impressive spike in above-average searches for “xbox one”.
Our own Dave Parrack clearly compared PS4 versus Xbox One and marked down some major negative points against Microsoft for the “numerous and confusing” restrictions Microsoft placed on gamers with the console. I recall shortly thereafter, Dave sent out an email to all of us cheering the latest tech news that Microsoft had conducted a huge U-turn on those restrictions. As the news of the reversal spread across the Internet, the search volumes for Xbox One continued to skyrocket.
Conclusion on Search Buzz
Following search engine buzz is always interesting business. Much of the time, you’ll just stumble across topics that have already hit major news sites and are spreading across the net like wildfire, but there are definitely times when you stumble across a viral topic that is just about to hit the airwaves once the media takes notice. It can be kind of exciting to spot the stories before the rest of the world hears about it – it’s one of the things I love most about monitoring activity on search engines.
Do you monitor search trends regularly? Have you ever spotted viral stories before the rest of the world, thanks to search trends? Share your thoughts and stories in the comments section below!
Image Credits: Web Traffic via Shutterstock