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Thursday, May 11, 2006

Google Trends Examples

Google’s new Trends tool is very interesting. While it only covers the years from 2004-2006, and only popular searches (a privacy measurement, among possible other reasons), we can still shed light on many issues. Google explains how their tool works:

Google Trends analyzes a portion of Google web searches to compute how many searches have been done for the terms you enter relative to the total number of searches done on Google over time. We then show you a graph with the results – our search-volume graph.

Located just beneath our search-volume graph is our news-volume graph. This graph shows you the number of times your topic appeared in Google News stories. When Google Trends detects a spike in the volume of news stories for a particular term, it labels the graph and displays the headline of an automatically selected Google News story written near the time of that spike.

Here are some sample searches:

A Google Trends search for Angela Merkel, Germany’s first female chancellor, shows very precise connections in Google News. Angela was nominated in late May 2005, receiving the majority of votes for her party in September.


In the beginning of this year, Google started to move into China with a self-censored Not only did searches for Google China explode around that time, in general news sources for the word censorship increased in Google News. By choosing a view for only January 2005, we can even narrow the peak down to the date Google made their decision public.


Another Google-related search is for Google Base. While Google doesn’t connect any news bits to the peaks, around October 2005 there were first sightings of Google Base, and November saw its launch. The peaks seem to resemble this.


Here you can see how interest in quirky American Idol singer William Hung was declining ever since mid-2004. A typical one-hit wonder?


We can also search for trends not of a specific event, but of a general type of event, like plane crash here to list tragic plane crashes from 2004 onwards.

Do you have interesing search trend graphs?


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