How to use Google Trends to measure what people are searching for on Google and compare popular search terms - INSIDER
Posted: 06 Sep 2019 12:00 AM PDT
Have you ever wondered how something became viral on social media? Or whether people in your state are actually excited about the latest iPhone?
It can be particularly useful for business owners who are interested in learning more about how their brand and business fare among a targeted audience – in terms of how often they search for it and when it hits peak popularity.
Google Trends is helpful for content creators and product developers, too, since you can easily access when certain terms are most popular. This includes seasonal trends (for example, "Christmas presents for mom" ticks up in November and December in the United States).
From the outside, Google Trends can seem a little tricky — so let's break it down.
How to use Google Trends to search for a term
1. First, go to https://trends.google.com and type in the search term you want to view, or start with an example.
3. Google Trends will then generate a series of charts based on your search term, which we'll break down below.
How to customize a Google Trends search
1. To customize your Google Trends search, first search for a term or topic — here, for example, using Apple.
2. To customize the "Interest over time" chart for your search term, use the four drop-down menus to see more specific metrics for region, time period, category, and the type of search (these include web, image, news, Google shopping, and YouTube searches).
3. For this example, we decided to see how often Apple was searched on Google News over the last 30 days in the United States in all categories.
What we see above is a peak on August 18, 2019, a few days after Apple's CEO Tim Cook met with President Donald Trump to talk tariffs.
Below the "Interest over time" graph is an "Interest by subregion" graph — where you can specify where in the country (metro, city, or subregion) the search was the most popular.
How to interpret what each graph on Google Trends means
Once you've searched a term or topic and customized some of its variants, understanding what the peaks (represented with a 100 on the graph) and plateaus actually mean can be confusing. Here's how Google describes it:
For the example we used above with Apple, this would mean that on August 18, Apple was one of the most popular search terms when compared to every other topic, for those searching on Google News in the US.
A zero rating, however, wouldn't mean that no one searched for Apple, but only a small number compared to the peaks.
How to compare search terms on Google Trends
1. To compare search terms, click on Compare and type in your terms or topics.
2. For this example, we will compare Apple with Facebook and Samsung, adding each by clicking on the "+" icon.
3. A series of graphs will be generated below, which you can then customize with time frame, category, region, and type of search.
4. After searching for a comparison between Apple, Facebook, and Samsung in the United States in the last 30 days in all categories on Google News, we can see that Facebook beat out the bunch in terms of frequency and volume of searches overall.
How to use related queries on Google Trends
Located at the bottom of your Google Trends search results is a box titled "Related Queries" — here you will find the popular terms that often accompany or follow your selected search term. For example, people who searched for "Apple" also searched for "Apple card" within the customized variants.
Within the Related queries box, you can click on a related search term like "Apple card" to see its search popularity and compare it to other searches.
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