If you’re looking for data on the data people are looking for, check out Google Trends. Google Trends is a treasure trove of information about the most popular searches at Google.
What Is Google Trends?
Google Trends shows you the most popular search terms at Google. Google Trends has been around in various forms since 2004 but the importance of the information gathered from Google Trends is still being discovered.
How Google Trends Can Be Used
You may not think of yourself as someone who needs to keep up on the latest trends. You may think, “I don’t care what Kim Kardashian wore last night no matter how many people search for it!”
But Google Trends can provide you with valuable information far beyond pop culture:
- Searches for a disease may alert epidemiologists and governments about possible outbreaks, especially within a certain region.
- Searches for news on a company may alert investors about possible stock movement.
- Google Trends can help politicians understand which issues are important to their constituents.
- Google Trends can help businesses marketers understand what people are searching for.
- Journalists and Bloggers can use Google Trends to get inspiration for hot article topics.
A study last year by Scientific Reports showed a correlation between US stock market movement and search terms appearing on Google Trends: Quantifying Trading Behavior in Financial Markets Using Google Trends. The report suggests that Google Trends may be able to predict stock market crashes based upon the searches people conduct on a company. Don’t bet the farm on Google Trends, though, it isn’t infallible. See, Google Trends Stock Market Prediction Gets A Trip To The Shop, Calls A Down Week.
Notably, a recent study by Wellesley College revealed that Google Trends results did not accurately predict the outcomes of US elections in 2008 and 2010: ON THE PREDICTABILITY OF THE U.S. ELECTIONS THROUGH SEARCH VOLUME ACTIVITY
Using Google Trends
You can use Google Trends to see which search terms are the most popular now or within a certain time period. You can see the search terms ranked in list view or in a calendar grid:
You can see all search terms or refine by categories such as:
- Business & politics
- Nature & science
- Shopping & fashion
- Travel & leisure
Clicking on the icons above the categories will show you which are the most popular topics and which are trending.
By clicking on “Explore” next to any term, you can see a graph of search volume over time, regional interest, similar search terms and more.
You can also see a constantly changing grid image of the hottest topics on Google:
You can compare search terms to see which is the most popular. Add multiple search terms to Google Trends to see how they compare over time:
[trends h=”450″ w=”500″ q=”iOS,android,windowsphone,BlackBerry” geo=”US”]
Google Trends will display regional interest, related search terms and allow you to share the results on social media.
Google Trends in 2013
Google Trends has a special section on 2013, showing you what were the hottest searches in each category last year. Head to Google Trends 2013 to show you which terms were the hottest last year.
Check out this video showing you the highlights of Google searches from 2013:
Have you ever used Google Trends to discover what’s hot? How do you think Google Trends information should be interpreted? Did you search your locality for Dengue Fever? Let us know in the Comments section below!
Twitter Emoji Trends
If you’re interested in trends, check out a website called Emojitracker that shows the most popular emojis being used on Twitter in real time. Be careful, the number flashes so quickly that the website has a warning that it could trigger epilepsy.
For more information about emojis and emoticons, see, Emoticons: To Love or Not to Love?