One of the new tools released by Google yesterday was Google Trends which opens up their Zeitgeist service to enable users to graph the search trends for different keywords since January 2004.
I’m sure this will be a tool used by bloggers quite a bit as it will enable to them to track the topics they’re writing about and the buzz around them. For example a topic I’m following is Digital Cameras. Here’s it’s trend:
The ‘letters’ correspond with a key that gives you news items that might explain what was happening at certain times to cause spikes and troughs in the graph.
The tool also allows comparisons between related search terms. So in comparing Digital Cameras (blue) and Camera Phones (red) we find:
For interests sake we’ll throw in a non related search term – ‘Blog’ (in orange) to see how popular that is as a search term:
Applications for Bloggers with Google Trends:
Visual Aides – I’m pretty sure we’ll see these little graphs used within posts by bloggers quite a bit as they write posts about trends and compare everything from political parties to breakfast cereals (although there needs to be a certain level of searches for a term before it is tracked – ie there’s no graphs for terms like ‘problogger’ etc out there.
Blog Research Tool – The other application that immediately sprang to my mind on seeing this was how useful a tool it will be when starting a new blog and narrowing in on a niche (including which keywords to target). ie if I wanted to choose between a blog on skiing or surfing the graph reveals what level of interest people using Google have in each (skiiing is blue, surfing is red):
Obviously both are popular but skiing is more seasonal while surfing is pretty constant. This is useful information to know in setting up a blog.
Add ‘snowboarding’ (orange) into the mix and you see a less popular term – again useful to know if it was a choice between the terms.
Lastly if you’d narrowed your niche down to ‘skiing’ you can use this tool to help you think about which specific keywords might be popular. For example add the word, ‘skis’ (red), ‘slalom’ (orange) and ‘snow’ (green) and you find all kinds of interesting information:
Found via Inside Google.