Google announced an update to Google Trends on June 17. It’s the biggest update to the tool since 2012, and it includes four brand new features.
What’s New With Google Trends?
1. Real-Time Data
Google Trends now provides access to real-time data, allowing you to monitor how search trends fluctuate at different times, or during major events. You can even track the stories most people are searching for and in what part of the world the interest lies. Explore data by choosing any time range in the past week to view minute by minute changes in searches.
Let’s look at an example. Wimbledon 2015 is currently in full swing, so I am going to find out how many people were searching for Rafael Nadal from Midnight on July 2nd until 8am on July 3rd.
As you can see, searches for Nadal were steadily increasing as we got closer to his qualifying match against German world number 102 Dustin Brown. Then we see a massive spike in searches at the point he shockingly crashed out of the tournament (19.48 on July 2nd):
The Benefits of Real-Time Data
Some companies are already experimenting with real-time marketing to great effect:
- Oreo – specifically their now infamous Superbowl Blackout tweet.
- Specsavers – who were quick to take advantage of the Luis Suarez biting incident at the 2014 Football World Cup with this tactical campaign.
With real-time data on Google Trends, this sort of rapid response has suddenly become much easier.
2. A New Story-Centric Homepage
The Google Trends homepage now features a ranked, real-time list of the stories that are receiving a high number of searches across the Google network. This not only includes Google Search, but YouTube and Google News too:
The Benefits of a Story-Centric Homepage
Use the story-centric homepage to monitor the latest trends as part of your marketing efforts. In the above example, if I click on “uk heatwave 2015”, I receive the following dashboard of information:
As you can see, you are presented with a wealth of information that can be used in a number of ways:
- Top questions: Every single one of these could be a blog post to drive traffic to your website and shares across social media.
- Trending queries: Targeting opportunities for your AdWords campaign. Some of these would have made great campaigns for cooling unit specialists, for instance.
3. Better Coverage For Deeper Insights
The breadth of data coverage available has also been increased, meaning you can access trends data for more niche topics in smaller geographic regions.
The Benefits of Better Coverage
This is a valuable tool if you are launching a local marketing campaign. The image below highlights regional search interests for pork pies. If you were a pie maker, this would highlight where you should concentrate your next local marketing campaign.
4. Curated Data Sets
The Google News Lab team will now be analysing the trending stories on a daily basis and providing interesting information about the trending topics that you can use to enhance news stories. These are available to download from the Google Trends Datastore.
This data can be filtered by subject and location. You can even search these trends during a specific time period.
The Benefits of Curated Data Sets
This data is great for journalists and content writers. For example, if I want to to see the variations in searches for Caitlyn Jenner vs. Kim Kardashian on June 1st – the date Caitlyn Jenner’s Vanity Fair cover was revealed – I can select Caitlyn Jenner from the drop down list of subjects and choose the relevant date. I click the download button next to the relevant report, and I am provided with a report containing the following columns of data:
- Time – date and hour
- Search interest in Kim Kardashian
- Search interest in Caitlyn Jenner
This data allows me to pinpoint the exact hour that search interest in Caitlyn surpassed Kim – 12pm EST on Monday 1st June, for those of you that are interested.