In this video, I want to talk about Google Trends and what you can use it for.
You can find Google Trends at http://www.google.com/trends
Google Trends is a great way to analyze crowd behavior and to see what people are searching for at any particular given time over an extended period.
I’m including a video for your convenience, and the text as well
for those of you that don’t like video. Enjoy!
Let me just give you an example. Let’s say we use a search term like “X Factor” – the talent TV show and let’s click on Search Trends. Now you can see that the pattern developed here is fairly consistent. Interest starts to build as the show is trailed and then after the winner is announced, it drops off, and it’s fairly flat again until the next year.
As I move along here you can see that the troughs and peaks get more pronounced mainly because over the years more people start to get broadband Internet access and Internet enabled cell phones, which means that they can search more often.
You can also see at the bottom here there’s a news reference volume. You can see what’s being written about the “X Factor” all the way along.
You can drill down by region as well, because let’s say we look at the UK where the “X Factor” has been running for many years. You can see here search volume goes up fairly regularly and then you’ve got more news items and so on. If we switch back to the United States, you can see that the search volume and the news reference is pretty flat up until around 2009 when Simon Cowell announced that he was going to be leaving American Idol to concentrate on bringing the “X Factor” to the US.
Then you’ve got other peaks when further announcements were made. You can see here there were more news stories being written about. Then you’ve got the various peaks as the show starts to take off and so on.
And you’ve got this one here, shows the peak in traffic when Simon Cowell shared plan to leave American Idol. And these were when various things happened on the show – when people started writing about – Cheryl Cole and Paula Abdul and so on.
Finding cyclical patterns in search volume data is very interesting because it can tell you when you want to start marketing your product or service when there is going to be a lot of demand. You can also use Google Trends to search for more than one item at a time, and I’m sort of demonstrating both here.
We’ve got five search terms: gifts, flowers, chocolate, fireworks and costume. You can find that flowers sort of peaks around Valentine’s Day. Fireworks tends to peak in the middle of the summer, mainly because the 4th of July in America gets a lot of searches and lots of air play and lots of news.
Costume tends to peak around Halloween because countries like America, Ireland, Britain, Germany have Halloween parties and people dress up in fancy costumes.
You can also use this to analyze trends and show where your product or service might be better aimed at a specific place at specific times of the year.
Now, let’s say we look at the search volumes for India for example. We can see that the pattern for flowers goes up a bit at the beginning of every year, as do gifts. But also you notice here that fireworks tends to peak at the end of the year when people buy fireworks for Diwali as do chocolate – that’s at the beginning of the year.
So, you can use this data to tailor product launches or to tailor campaigns aimed at specific markets at specific times of the year.
Have you ever wondered how popular something is compared to something else? Well, search volume is a great indicator.
Now, if we compare Google, Yahoo and Bing, for example, we can see the cultural shift over time in online searching. In face, we can even pinpoint the month, and you can see right here and again here, where Google overtook Yahoo in terms of search popularity.
In short, there are many different ways that you can use Google Trends to mine search data to do better research and these are just a few examples to get your creative juices flowing.