Can I view specific Google searches over time?
I'm doing a research report for school and am interested in comparing specific searches on Google over time. For example, do searches for a TV series spike when the show is aired? Does chatter about a movie peak when the movie is released?
There sure is, and it's one of the coolest - and least known - parts of Google: Google Trends. Turns out that Google Trends can show any search over time, but it can do more too.
For example, want to know what topics are being searched right now? According to Hot Trends, the top search as I write this is jabroni and the hot trend is gap logo.
Which leads to the question: what the heck is a jabroni? Using Google to search for it I learned that it's a slang name for a professional wrestler who throws a game to make the opponent look better. More generally, someone who is a loser.
But still, let's back up a bit because you're more interested in trends.
Let's start by going to Google Trends and searching for frequency of searches for "Courtney Cox" across the last few years. Start by typing her name in:
Click on "Search Trends" and you'll see something rather surprising:
As you can see, "Courtney Cox" has been a popular search term since Google started collecting this statistical data, 2004.
What about someone who hasn't been in the public eye since 2004? Let's check out what kind of trends are associated with "Michelle Obama", the First Lady:
Makes sense: she wasn't in the news until her husband was elected President of the United States in 2008.
See the letters that denote specific spikes in the data? Adjacent to the graph is a legend that explains what's going on:
Looking a bit further to the right, there are two very important criteria you can modify with the Google Trends search:
Wondering about search trends in Finland? You can do that:
Rather focus on a specific period of time? You can do that too:
Very cool stuff, isn't it?
Since I wrote this article while watching the new NBC TV series called The Event, I thought that'd be a good first thing to search:
In the above graph, you can see that by default I can just see that there's a spike. But is it on a per-episode basis? I'll change the analyzed time period to just the last 30 days and suddenly you can see that, yes, there have been three episodes and that the searches coincide with their air dates:
Doesn't look good for the show, by the way: seems like it should be trending upwards week by week as the series picks up momentum.
One more search. Wondering when the film "The Dark Knight" was released? Google Trends can answer that with a quick search:
I'll encourage you to check out Google Trends as a good place to get historical search data for your school research and homework. Good luck!
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