Thoughts, information and reflections about technology

Google trends – Compare what people are searching for..

Google has a neat tool available called Google Trends. http://www.google.com/trends You can put in a search term or terms and it will show you the historical trends for searches for that term. It will also highlight news articles pertaining to that term and when they appeared.

You can also put in multiple terms to compare seperated by commas.

It’s great for comparing the popularity of certain things. For example, try Atlantic City, Cape May, Wildwood as a search, you will see the relative popularity of each of these. You will also notice the seasonal trends.

There are regional, city and language graphs showing where the searches originated for a particular term.

 

Tips

 

  • If you compare a couple of terms and one has a much higher or lower search frequency, you may have to retry without that term to see the trends more clearly for the remaining items.
  • Don’t forget that many words have multiple meanings. For example, bush will not only get you searches for the President, but also for shrubs and trees.
  • Terms with low volumes of searchs will probably not show up.

 

Some things to try

  • equinox, solstice
  • Full moon
  • Blue moon
  • lawn mower, snowblower
  • Federal election
  • New years eve
  • sunburn
  • Ruby on Rails, Python
Below is an example of the search terms equinox and solstice. You can see predictable spikes in the searches.
Google Trends Sample

Anyway, it’s a pretty neat tool. If you are a webmaster, it can help you understand the seasonal variations in searching patterns. If you are a programming student considering specializing in a language this can help you gauge the popularity of different languages.

 

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