How to use Google Trends
Google Trends is a part of an extensive online tools and applications provided by Google. It is an extremely useful search-based application that allows its users to find out data about particular search phrases and keywords. The main functionality of Google Trends is to give the users an idea about how often certain subject matters, queries and phrases have been searched over a given period of time.
Google Trends takes in the given phrase as the input and analyzes a part of all the searches made corresponding the given phrase. It compares the total queries made with the given phrase with the total number of Google searches to provide a comparative report. The data that is shown by Google Trends is updated on a regular basis. Yet, Google has issued a disclaimer which says "may contain inaccuracies for a number of reasons, including data sampling issues and a variety of approximations that are used to compute results."
Google Trends allows its users to query up to 5 search terms at the same time. The results are displayed in a graphical format that is known as “Search Volume Index” graph. The data that is provided by this Search Volume Index graph can be easily downloaded and viewed on an Excel file. Additionally, there a feature is known as "Hot Searches" that displays a list of top 40 searches of the day made in the United States. There is an add-on present known as Google Trends for Websites which provides data on specific website traffic rather than traffic based on search queries. The analysis provided by Google Trends for Websites include region specific data, number of unique visitors and percentage of visitors from individual geographic regions. There is also a section called “Also visited” and “Also searched for” which shows similar content searched and viewed by all the users.
Using Google Trends
Google Trends typically shows two graphs for any search query entered. The first is the Search Volume Index of Google Trends as mentioned above and the second is known as the Google Keyword Planner. While the Search Volume Index shows relative popularity of the query, the keyword planner shows the absolute volume of searches made with that specific keyword. The Search Volume Index also eliminates any repetition of the same searches made by the same user over a short duration of time. The Google Trends graph is applicable only for popular search queries. In order to use Google Trends more effectively and use the same analysis as the application, the following steps can be followed.
- Calculate the relative popularity of the search query from basic Google Trends data. Express the relative popularity as a ratio of the search query to the total number of searches made.
- Scale the acquired value proportionally till the maximum value is 100.
- Mark the specific points on the graph.
One can see that the data provided by this relative search ratio is not always related to the volume of the search query. But in most cases, the Search Volume Index and the Google Keyword Planner coincide.
Google Trends allows web developers and content planners to create seasonal content that can attract a greater amount of traffic. Added to this, it allows them to polish their SEO tactics by identifying better with relevant keywords and search queries. It also allows them to avoid search unicorns by avoiding random spikes in popularity. With Google Trends, it has become extremely easy to find relevant news topics and comes across content that is trending right at the moment. Google Trends has also made it extremely easy to manage content calendars and planners.