Google Trends

I came across this NYT article  today in my Twitter account .  It’s about Google being able to predict flu trends around the country by analyzing search terms that people are using.  Fascinating. 

This led me to Google Trends, which allows you to look at search terms and see how often they are used geographically.  I was able to drill down to Pennsylvania and then on that results page, I got a listing of cities with indications of how popular the terms were.  Google Trends is updated daily.

However, also on the Google Trends page is something called Hot Trends.  This is updated hourly and lists the top ten on the front page with an option to look at more hot trends.  That second page lists all one hundred of the hot trends.  When you click on a trend, you get graphs and also news stories and blogs about that search term, to help you put it into perspective.

For example, I saw Susan Powter on the list at number 36.  Susan Powter?!!  She’s way last year or rather…last 20/30 years.  Why would people be searching her all of a sudden?  I clicked on her name and discovered in the news stories that she appeared on a show called “The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet”.  She’s got a book coming out and is trying to get traffic to her blog, etc.  And they made a big deal out of her being a lesbian these days, when during her “Stop the Insanity” days, she was married to a guy.

That’s why all the searches, aha!

It would be worthwhile for editors to take the feed from Hot Trends and check it daily for story ideas.  The RSS icon is on the extended Hot Trends page.


1 Comment

Filed under reference, Searching, Story Ideas

One response to “Google Trends

  1. biffitzitis

    Darn it, now I have to go search “Susan Powter”. Just because. Or maybe not. Hmmmmm……

    Thanks, D!

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