Google This: Find What’s Hot with Google Trends

Short of spending thousands of dollars on market research, there are few easy ways to find out what is on the minds of consumers NOW, and how to capitalize on the trend.  Want to know which celebrity is generating the most buzz, or which new cell phone is hot in California?  That’s the idea behind the free research available at Google Trends.

Google Trends lets you see who is interested in any given  topic, on a local or worldwide basis.  You can enter up to five topics and see how often they’ve been searched on Google over time.  Google Trends also shows how frequently your topics have appeared in Google News stories and in which geographic regions people have searched for them the most.

To use Google Trends, type in the terms you want to explore and click “search trends”.  Trends can also compare search volume between up to five different topics.  To compare terms, separate each term with a comma.  The graphic results will show you the relative performance of one term to another. To see numeric results, you have to log in with your Google password (very clever of these Google guys).

The results will provide you a  color coded legend, trend line, list of news stories tied to the trend line so you can see the impact of relevant news (great for measuring the impact of PR on search volumes), and the top geographies searching for the terms based on your selection.  the first term you  enter is set so that its average search traffic in the chosen time period is equal to  1.0; subsequent terms are then scaled relative to that first term. You can also choose the length of the time line ranging from the past 30 days to all the way back to 2004..

I find the tool useful for many applications – comparing interest in products, seeing the impact of news or offline advertising on search volumes, geo-targeting AdWords or other advertising initiatives, monitoring competitors and so on.  Best of all, it’s free.

Check it out at http://trends.google.com

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2 Responses to “Google This: Find What’s Hot with Google Trends”

  1. 7 Google Tools Every Marketer Must Use | Loud Amplifier Marketing on November 16th, 2008:

    […] 4) Google Trends […]

  2. Inside Small Business » Blog Archive » 5 Mega Trends for Web Based Businesses on November 16th, 2008:

    […] The Long Tail concept is one of the driving forces behind Amazon.com, Netflix.com, eBay, and others.  And its something you have to stay on top of because the tail will change with current events, news, changing consumer preferences and so on.  According to Google,  20% of  new searches are for terms that are new from 3 months prior.  You can see the rise and fall of interest in terms, and the events that drove interest, on Google Trends. […]

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