Basics of Google Trends

Google Trends

What is Google Trends?

Google Trends provides real-time information about what people are searching for. It helps measure search interest in a specific topic, location, and time. This lesson aims to explain how Google Trends works and empower users to interpret the data.

Selecting a topic

Google Trends data can be explored using the free Trends Explore tool, which categorizes data into topics. Users can query individual search terms as well. Topics are generally more reliable as they include exact phrases, misspellings, and acronyms, covering all languages. Comparing topics and search terms is essential.

  1. STEP 1: Type your query, and a drop-down list appears with topics and the exact search term. Choose the relevant topic for a comprehensive view.
  2. STEP 2: Explore up to five topics or terms, ensuring a like-for-like comparison.

Reading the interest over time graph

Understanding the popularity graph of a topic over time is crucial in interpreting Google Trends data. The graph shows search interest on a scale of 1-100, normalized and indexed.

  1. STEP 1: Search for a topic (e.g., Veganism) and specify location and time. Hover over the graph to see search interest over time, noted from 1-100.
  2. STEP 2: Change the time range to Past 5 years and observe how the maximum value remains 100 but the date changes.
  3. STEP 3: The values are normalized and indexed on a scale from 1-100. Adding a comparison (e.g., ketogenic diet) showcases the change in maximum points.

Understanding the numbers

Google Trends data is indexed and normalized, and this section elaborates on what this means.

  • Indexing: Data is indexed from 1-100, representing the search interest relative to the selected time and location.
  • Normalization: Search interest is presented as a percentage of all searches at that time and location.

Searches by location

Google Trends breaks down data by location, allowing users to explore search interest globally or in specific regions.

  1. STEP 1: After a search, scroll down to see search interest by location. Worldwide shows countries, while specific countries show regions. Darker shades indicate higher search interest.
  2. STEP 2: Toggle between map and list views, comparing search interest across locations.
  3. STEP 3: Data can be viewed by country, region, city, and in some countries, metro areas.

Top and rising searches

This section explores top and rising search topics and queries, providing insights into trending topics.

  1. STEP 1: At the bottom, find Related topics and Related queries. Scroll through results.
  2. STEP 2: “Rising” data indicates topics with the largest increase in search interest. “Breakout” searches have over 5000% increase.
  3. STEP 3: Switch to “Top” to view queries or topics with the highest search volume.
  4. STEP 4: Click on a topic or query for more details.

Data excluded from search

Google Trends excludes certain data for accuracy:

  • Searches made by very few people.
  • Duplicate searches over a short period.
  • Queries with special characters.

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