When Google launched its GoogleTrends.com service in 2012 it was a somewhat useful way to see what people had been searching for and talking about recently. The problem was that all too often it was only able to look back into the recent past for stories and topics that had already become stale. Now the service is getting a much-needed upgrade and it may soon become the premier place to find out what the world has on its mind. The functionality hasn’t changed at all, but Google Trends now tracks stories in real time, giving anyone access to what the Internet wants to know in the present moment.
As of today, you can watch minute-by-minute information coming in from more than 100 billion searches taking place via Google during each month and Trends also utilizes the information available from Google News and YouTube, for a much more robust view of what people want to know and why they want to know it.
Some insiders see this as an attempt to leapfrog Twitter, which had become the go-to source for up to the minute discourse. “Social media data focuses on what people are talking about publicly,” said Steve Grove, head of Google’s News Lab Search. In many ways, data goes a layer deeper than that, to what people are really interested in. When you’re searching, you’re not really editing yourself. You find out what people are really interested in. It’s very real, very raw, very personal,” Grove told a Wired reporter.
As information becomes more plentiful and easier to sort or search, there is an increasing desire to keep that data fresh. Google Trends is now an exceptional tool for finding the freshest data about the public mindset, and something many National Net clients might use to generate content, publicity or marketing campaigns that resonate with their audience effectively.