5 minute read.

Analysing world trends with Google insight search

Paul Anthony / June 12, 2009

Posted in: Archive

I’ve been having a play recently with Google insights for search, which was launched ages ago, but I never really got round to playing with it in depth. It is useful both for regular joes and those interested in search engine keyword research.

The data we get access to appears to be pretty accurate, and can get insight into a wide variety of things such as politics and public feeling as well as website search popularity.

Here are some of the things that I’ve gleamed from it from playing around with it recently.

Evidence of a recession

URL: http://bit.ly/134lVu

I know its a bit of a dirty word, but the big R is at the forefront of many people’s minds and the evidence is there that searchers are looking for ways to combat it too. This Google insight search shows that people have slow stopped looking to invest money, and are instead looking to save it. Money saving expert is trumping the Motley Fool by some margin in organic search.

We can see that the tables actually started to turn as early as the mid point of 2006.  The wall street Journal debates that the recession actually started in 2007, which would make sense, as the public started to save the penny’s rather than spend them.

Obviously this is a gross oversimplification of data, but it is still enough data to show trends for certain keywords.


URL: http://bit.ly/4Epcq1

Politics have been a part of Northern Ireland culture since time began, and we (wrongly) get a bit of a rep worldwide for always being at each other’s throats. Personally, I’m apathetic to the whole thing, but this graph shows accurately that the two mainstream parties across the political divide have pretty much been running neck and neck over time.

With the peace process in place, I would have expected perhaps favour of the two parties at opposite ends of the spectrum (DUP & Sinn Fein) to have waned – and thus Google searches to have shown this over time.

Also interesting is the spike in searches for political terms beginning March 08th – March 14th. This (according to Google) can be attributed to the two soldiers shot outside Antrim Barracks. It appears the world’s eye’s – were firmly focussed back on Northern Ireland.

The rise of social media

URL: http://bit.ly/hjmEL

Like a spoilt child that always needs a new toy to play with, the web community are continually coining phrases and buzzwords which sound dynamic and new, and provide a new way of selling old rope. That’s the sceptic in me, I’m sure my critics will be quick to tell me about the fundamental difference of the web as a marketing platform. First we have had Web 2.0, followed by social media, my bet are that once ‘social media’ as a term has been milked as another way to sell something, Web 3.0 will be next on the cards.

Anyway depending on your views of it, you can see the rise of social media as a search term from this Google insight search. Watch this space.

Javascript frameworks in use

URL: http://bit.ly/MP8b7

Ever wondered what javascript framework to use? Well in my opinion other developers’ adoption rates are a pretty good representation of support from the web community at large. (There are btw plenty of other techie sites that will give you a break down of what to use and when if this is too unscientific an approach for you.)

Anyway this Google insight search shows that JQuery is running away with the show, and if you are writing technical content for the web development community, you’ll know that interest for Jquery related material is still active and growing in much the same way that javascript effects were in 2005. Site’s like dynamic drive cashed in on this at the time, and there’s a lesson to be learned from that.

Reality Tv

URL: http://bit.ly/SXlAu

Highbrow it aint, but like it or loath it reality tv is here to stay. If your website happens to work within the confines of this culture – then you can learn from the trends of the searches and work out when you are likely to get spikes in traffic.

Big Brother trumps interest from other reality shows in the UK – unsurprisingly. But there is a build up to it, as it gets marketed by Channel four extensively before the show actually launches. You can see these peaks just before the summer each year (the larger peaks during the show).  There is herefore obvious low hanging fruit to pick up here as people are doing big brother related searches before the show launches.

You can apply this concept to many different niche’s on the web, building content for something prior to it actually hitting the mainstream. I.e before the Xbox or WII launched there were bloggers writing around that subject to achieve better exposure in the SERP’s and to gain a foothold as authorities within a niche.


Obviously this post is pretty random, but hopefully shows the wide variety of things you can find out from Google insight for search, with just a bit of imagination.

  • Google
  • insight
  • keyword research
  • market research
  • search
  • trends