Fun with Trends

Steve Rubel is having a blast, and Philipp shows some fun examples and his readers find more.

Personally, I enjoy doing things like [lake tahoe]:

Lake Tahoe

Sure, you see a spike in the winter-time (in purple), but check out the increase of searches in the summer (in green). I guess people want to go up and bike and relax during the summer too. And it’s fun to see the unexpected periodicity of some queries like [ncaa] (March Madness rules), [prom], [jewelry] (Christmas), or [burning man, sundance, sxsw].

What are your favorite graphs or insights so far?

68 Responses to Fun with Trends (Leave a comment)

  1. Travis

    My favorite (although highly predictable) would have to be [bush,kerry]

    http://google.com/trends?q=bush%2Ckerry&ctab=0&geo=all&date=all

    You can see the obvious spike around November and December :)

  2. Hi Matt,

    Cool app! Nice trend for the word “spam”.

    What do you think of having a slider function like Google Finance has? One could scroll over the graph and see corresponding news.

    - Scott

  3. Here’s a good one:
    http://google.com/trends?q=hybrid&ctab=0&geo=all&date=2005

    Hurricane katrina hits, then searches for “hybrid” peak… even though the cost of buying a new car will be more than the gas savings.

    http://google.com/trends?q=greencard&ctab=0&geo=all&date=all

    You’ll also notice a decline in people trying to become american citizens during Bush’s 2nd term.

  4. funny that the top 5 cities for [tax extension] are in california!

  5. Matt,
    I am actualy using the part not shown in your article which is the breakdown of the results by country. I work for an international marketing company and knowing who to target by their search frequency is a great advantage. I have posted an article about it at my blog which is located at http://ohad-news.blogspot.com

  6. Hi Matt,

    For me Yahoo, Google Always :)
    http://google.com/trends?q=google%2C+yahoo+&ctab=0&geo=all&date=all

    See Yahoo in San Francisco and in Paris

  7. This has serious uses as well. I am based in Japan that has a very high suicide rate. Look at the trends for searches on the term “jisatsu” (suicide) – http://www.google.com/trends?q=%E8%87%AA%E6%AE%BA

    See the two peaks? It would be very interesting to be able to go back and find out the precise times of these and try to tie them in with what was happening in society at the time.

    And was it just a surge of interest, or did suicide rates actually go up subsequently? Think of the predictive and potential preventative benefits of something like this – the Google Trends early warning system.

  8. Shri

    A sign that google is not doing too well with merging similar terms.

    http://www.google.com/trends?q=gps+reviews%2C+gps+review

  9. Well I’m also in Japan
    It has 2 advantages for me
    1. As an SEO/Onloine marketing consultant it shows when clients can start campaigns for seasonal trends

    http://www.google.com/trends?q=%E9%AB%98%E6%A0%A1%E9%87%8E%E7%90%83%2C+%E8%8A%B1%E8%A6%8B%2C+%E3%82%B4%E3%83%BC%E3%83%AB%E3%83%87%E3%83%B3%E3%82%A6%E3%82%A4%E3%83%BC%E3%82%AF%2C+%E5%AD%90%E4%BE%9B%E3%81%AE%E6%97%A5%2C+%E3%82%A4%E3%83%BC%E3%82%B9%E3%82%BF%E3%83%BC

    This is High School baseball, Watching Cherry Blossoms, Goldenweek, Childrens Day, & Easter (I actually thought Easter wasn’t that big here)

    2. A few terms that I have that I thought was just searched in Japan are also terms searched in other Asian countries.

    http://www.google.com/trends?q=%E8%8B%B1%E5%9B%BD%2C+%E3%82%A2%E3%83%8B%E3%83%A1%2C+%E6%B4%BE%E9%81%A3%2C+%E9%AB%AA&ctab=0&geo=all&date=all

    The terms are: England, Anime, Term Agency, & Hair

    As I’m still doing research with IDN Domains I usually just forgot that some of Japan’s Chinese characters have the same meaning in Chinese. Plus it let’s us compare terms in each country. If you have a term that has dual meanings in multiple countries it’s good to put that first I found out.

    Working well on the international playing field…

    Thank Ya team…

  10. US networks and the Beeb – http://www.google.com/trends?q=nbc%2C+cbs%2C+abc%2C+fox%2C+bbc&ctab=0&geo=all&date=all

    My guess is that the unexplained spike for the Beb at the end of 2005 is because they probably had better Tsunami coverage?

  11. Here, I put together a little tool that lets you use explore Google Suggest and Google Trends together:

    Google Suggest Explorer

    Try it with vacation, for example.

    For a direct search on Trends, compare hotmail and gmail together. Interesting little spike on the former just before the latter was announced…

  12. Two good ones http://google.com/trends?q=jump+the+shark&ctab=0&geo=all&date=all
    On the way out as a phrase?

    http://google.com/trends?q=cutlets&ctab=0&geo=all&date=all
    I was wondering if this trend had anything to do with you?

  13. An epic battle between whisky and vodka ?

    http://www.google.com/trends?q=whisky%2C+vodka&ctab=0&geo=all&date=all

    Top cities are fun too…

  14. If someone could explane me this one:
    http://www.google.com/trends?q=paris%2C+hilton%2C+paris+hilton&ctab=0&geo=all&date=all

    Why do searches for Paris, Hilton and Paris Hilton peak at the same time?

    Otherwise, the top regions for this one are quite interesting
    http://www.google.com/trends?q=sex&ctab=0&geo=all&date=all

  15. Indeed another very useful tool. Can’t wait to discuss this in a few forums.

    Thanks.

  16. rob

    Will be interesting to see what kind of api type apps spring up as a result.

    I spent way to long this morn, doing various kw contrasts.

    Luckily I came to my senses and realised that the sun was shining, so got out on my bike and soaked some rays :)

  17. The interesting things I’ve seen so far relate to the “Regions” tab on Google Trends. Why are countries like India and the Philippines /miles ahead/ of other countries for searches like ‘call center outsourcing’ and ‘search engine optimization’? Click fraud? It seems bizarre that the above terms would be significantly more popular in the Philippines, where English isn’t even the official language, than any Western country. Thoughts?

  18. Infopreneurs in the developing world building AdSense sites. If you can devote an hour or two a day to building sites, you can easily reach the $100/month mark and then go beyond. It may not sound like much to many of us, but $100/month can be more than the average wage in many of these countries. So yes, there’s definitely some interest in it. See my interview in the Christian Science Monitor article Google’s hidden payroll, which was picked up by various publications including USA Today.

  19. Google overload, thank you Matt, Philipp and others for keeping on top of this.

    I still can’t stop from getting nervous that the organic search is going to be pushed lower down the page. For craftspeople who sell stuff online All Google All the Time might not be a good “trend”. I can sell nothing from Google Base or Froogle, ALL my sales from from Google Search.

    Is Google going to become a lame portal? But yeah, there are plentyoffish who end up on the ships deck, for the few who are not “fish” this might not be good news,,, but I am still a fan.

  20. David

    One that I think may be improperly skewed on the Geo side is this one:

    http://www.google.com/trends?q=car+insurance%2C+auto+insurance&ctab=1&geo=all&date=all

    If you look at the Regions, you can see how skewed ‘car insurance’ is for UK and Ireland. If you run just the US you see that it is neck and neck (which seems likely, but maybe they don’t use the term auto or automobile in the UK regions):

    http://www.google.com/trends?q=car+insurance%2C+auto+insurance&ctab=1&geo=US&date=all

    Whilst I am not certain but if you run just the UK, you see what appears to be skewage:

    http://www.google.com/trends?q=car+insurance%2C+auto+insurance&ctab=1&geo=GB&date=all

    Apparently, no one searches for auto insurance in Ireland:
    http://www.google.com/trends?q=car+insurance%2C+auto+insurance&ctab=1&geo=IE&date=all

    I like these kind of toys…

  21. Checking holidays in Trends is fun, if predictable. “Christmas” looks like a trace from an oscilliscope, and if you add a comma and “Easter” you get something like a heart rate monitor.

    I’ve been telling people for years that interest in a subject I’ve written a series of books about, building your own PC, has been falling steadily with the rise of laptops and incredibly cheap boxes. Trending

    build pc, build computer

    shows this so plainly that it requires no further argument:-)

  22. Sam

    If you want to see a really obvious seasonal spike, try:

    http://google.com/trends?q=santa+claus&ctab=0&geo=all&date=all

  23. Myron Rosmarin

    Who will win this year’s American Idol?

    If search trends are any indicator, Elliott Yamin’s trend is the only one moving in the right direction.

    http://www.google.com/trends?q=taylor+hicks%2C+chris+daughtry%2C+elliott+yamin%2C+katharine+mcphee&ctab=0&date=2006&geo=all

  24. Jamie Queen

    London bombings as sad as it was it a great example of search volumes and news….

  25. Sarah

    THANKYOU, THANKYOU, THANKYOU!!

    Hi Matt,

    An off-topic but nonetheless heartfelt thanks to you, your team and the BigDaddy push for removing http://www.oursite.com/?referrer=google from the supplemental index!

    For those in a similar situation, this bad URL sat in the supplemental index for 17 months. However blocking the URL in the robots.txt did the trick for us!

    Best,
    Sarah

  26. Ralf

    Hallo Matt, no problem if you delete this one.
    This isn’t my favorite search and the trend may be all right because it went down. But European regions, languages and cities ONLY? This can NOT be true! If I compare this to a search on the same word the first result says: ACPO is an organization, comprised of volunteers from all around the world…..
    I talked to some people about this this morning, you do not want to know what they said.

  27. This has serious uses as well. I am based in Japan that has a very high suicide rate. Look at the trends for searches on the term “jisatsu” (suicide) – http://www.google.com/trends?q=%E8%87%AA%E6%AE%BA

    I’m not from Japan, but I always thought the term for suicide was “harakiri”?

  28. This one’s neat, although females around the world are gonna jump alllllllllll over this one.

    http://www.google.com/trends?q=women%2C+men&ctab=0&geo=all&date=all

  29. ok one more.. not political but funny in an austin powers kind of way

    http://www.google.com/trends?q=dentist&ctab=1&geo=GB&date=2006

  30. Mo

    even better if you use google search history – check out your own trends: http://www.google.com/searchhistory/trends?&hl=en

    ah the lunch time search spike!

  31. surfdog

    Fun and useful tool for trends, but it’s NOT to be trusted for real regional or city comparisons. I was all excited about it at first, thinking it’d show me comparative search volume, i.e.Volumes for Regions A, B and C each compared to Total Global Volume. This isn’t the case – it’s using a convoluted calculation that negates its usefulness for this purpose.

  32. Matt. Trends is just the best tool you’ve released for ages. It would be really great though if the raw data was available becuase this would severely help with modelling Pay Per Click budgets for the year.

  33. Chrispcritters

    I’ve noticed that the query stats data in sitemaps and Google Trends appears to vary quite wildly. Trends indicates that sitemaps #3 “Top Search Query” has about 25% more “search volume” than the sitemaps #1 Top Search Query. The #3 TSQ has about 400% more “search volume” than the #2 TSQ.

    Is this due to Trends not having access to as much data as sitemaps?

  34. You may be seeing differing results because it appears that Google Trends is not exact matching the queries. I posted some examples on my blog… :P

  35. Myron Rosmarin

    Finally, a resolution to the most contentious debate in my family:

    http://www.google.com/trends?q=starbucks%2C+dunkin+donuts&ctab=0&geo=US&date=all

  36. Dear Matt,
    Take this thing to the next level Google like you always do!

    What about a Google Trends Enterprise or Pro ?
    Yeap you can tell Marissa I told you about it…

    Google Trends + Earth + Maps + Gtalk = Google x.0

    Taling about insurance, health, realtors sectors…
    and please put next to each us city an abbreviation DC, TX etc..

    if I could know where people WITHIN my
    metropolitan area were seeking certain things, this service would be
    far more usefull to me. Combine these results with google earth
    satellite maps. Knowing the data on a nationwide (or worldwide) scale
    is not nearly as useful to ME (the end user).
    But if want to install tile in people’s homes, and
    I want to know where people actually seem to NEED that, I could use
    this kind of tool to help me focus my efforts in the right areas. If it
    were only localized.

    FUN : http://www.google.com/trends?q=bush%2C+kerry%2C&ctab=0&geo=all&date=all
    it tells a lot what a news A was spelled

  37. yeap by the way , if we can have the countries bar top right with a CTRL select, in order to choose two three four countries.

    thanks

  38. Quite useful for seeing which bands are on their way up and which are on the way out.

  39. disenfranchised

    reminds me of Nero fiddling while Rome is burning

  40. Another great toy for people to play with. Thanks Google.

    When will the upgrade come out that allows us to actually see if the searches are in the tens, hundreds, thousands, or millions?

  41. Here’s an obvious one … White Hat vs. Black Hat

    http://www.google.com/trends?q=white+hat%2C+black+hat+&ctab=1&geo=all&date=all

    Interesting to note that a news article specifically identifies the reason for a large black hat spike. Great job!

  42. Google Trends presently does NOT support automatic conversion
    between simplified and traditional Chinese which is well supported by
    Google Search, so one keyword in Simplified Chinese and Traditional
    Chinese will be considered as two individual keywords,
    correspondingly, the results will be different….

    True or not ?

  43. For the webdeveloper-savvy ones:
    http://www.google.com/trends?q=%22web+standards%22%2C+tableless&ctab=2&geo=all&date=all

    I personally dislike the expression “tableless”. Too bad for me it seems to be by far the most used of the two here in Brazil.

  44. I ended up doing a blog entry today about trending PageRank vs Page Rank. Both are on the rise, but the really interesting part is the regions and language results:-)

  45. Hi Matt – been working on Co-op – decided to put something up to give more examples etc see – http://www.indigoguide.com/coop.htm – its ongoing

  46. Everyone knows the Web 2.0 space is growing, but by how much?
    http://google.com/trends?q=web+2.0&ctab=0&geo=all&date=all

    Have to love Google Trends, it is a great tool for marketers.

  47. Eric, that’s a pretty neat app combining Suggest with Trends. :)

    ELIAS KAI, I’m not sure if it converts between Traditional and Simplified Chinese automatically or not.

    Sarah, glad that worked for you. We’re going to keep refreshing the Supplemental Results over the summer.

    Peter Cooper, you asked an interesting question:

    The interesting things I’ve seen so far relate to the “Regions” tab on Google Trends. Why are countries like India and the Philippines /miles ahead/ of other countries for searches like ‘call center outsourcing’ and ’search engine optimization’? Click fraud? It seems bizarre that the above terms would be significantly more popular in the Philippines, where English isn’t even the official language, than any Western country. Thoughts?

    I believe that’s because we don’t look at the absolute volume of queries, or else a country like the Philippines would rarely show up. Instead, I think that the regions shown are the ones with the highest percentages. So that’s saying that ‘call center outsourcing’ is a more popular query on a percentage basis in those countries. Hope that makes sense.

  48. Being an American Idol fan I would have to say this one is my favorite…

    http://google.com/trends?q=chris+daughtry&ctab=0&geo=all&date=all

    Google, and the world, never knew who Chris Daughtry was until a couple months ago ;)

  49. Good one Julie.
    thanks Matt.

  50. boy is this addictive.

    So I thought lunch during the week, breakfast on weekends. And buffets at the end of the week!
    http://www.google.com/trends?q=lunch%2C+breakfast%2C+dinner%2C+brunch%2C+buffet&ctab=0&geo=all&date=2006-1

    But what’s with breakfast in July?
    http://www.google.com/trends?q=lunch%2C+breakfast%2C+dinner%2C+brunch&ctab=0&geo=all&date=all

  51. I think these trends are a great way of seeing what is actually searched upon in google.

    Yahoo have the overture based search mechanism, which always gives a good indication. How about Google coming up with something similar?

  52. I have to say WOW about the new Trends solution…we have played with it a bit today…we work with highly seasonal trends which we thought we knew well but there apears to be 90, 60, and 30 day search trends that are different enough to our booking trends to be very interesting…but, the most interesting thing we have discovered so far it the regional variances say by major cities…

    And…it’s REALLY simple…pass on a big hug to the Labs team from us here downunder…

  53. DavidW

    Great tool Matt and addictive too! It’s already given me some ideas for new sites!
    You could develop this in a number of ways that would make it really useful for marketing. Such as being able to search a term on a country and region basis ie holidays + south west england or insurance + london. People would be prepared to subscribe to a service like that I’m sure.

    Meanwhile – we’ve got other things on our minds over here as you can see

    http://www.google.com/trends?q=world+cup

    Searches mostly in UK and Europe – but lot of interest tin US as well and good luck to the US team they’ve got a tough group.

    Regards Dave

  54. Will the trend have the number of searches on the side?

  55. For the trend, the search for “Matt Cutts” and “Google, Yahoo”.

    Thanks for clarifying this Matt:

    “I believe that’s because we don’t look at the absolute volume of queries, or else a country like the Philippines would rarely show up. Instead, I think that the regions shown are the ones with the highest percentages. So that’s saying that ‘call center outsourcing’ is a more popular query on a percentage basis in those countries. Hope that makes sense. ”

    It was a bit weird.

    And FYI, even though English isn’t the official language in the Philippines (and why should it be?), we use it more often and a lot better than other countries where English is their official language. :p

    Peace! ^_^

  56. Ian

    I like Matt Cutts fighting it out with Robert Scoble :D

    http://google.com/trends?q=matt+cutts%2C+scoble&ctab=0&geo=all&date=all

    You’re more popular in Germany and Spain apparently :)

  57. If this information is accurate, then this is a wonderful tool for us.

    Within the first 5 minutes of using it, I answered some long standing questions that I never knew the answer to, like which phrase was more important in spring time.

    Thanks, and keep these tools coming.

  58. Dave that’s very interesting…

  59. Good point Ian, I know a few Germans who are very respectful of Mr. Cutts and “beer”. ;-)

    damir

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