A step-by-step simple guide to Google Trends

“It’s trending!”

“It is the current trend”.

“This will be the future trend”.

These are some of the most common statements you would have heard.

Usually told by salespeople and shop owners.

The problem here is,

They don’t have enough data to back it up.

Or

They might be lying to make a sale.

This is where Google Trends comes in.

With Google Trends, you can get ideas on various topics.

General or niche area.

You can do effective keyword research.

That would be helpful in implementing content marketing, SEO, Google Ads among others.

You can compare Google Search trends.

You can get data to make informed decisions.

What is Google Trends?

It is an online tool that helps you see how often specific keywords, subjects, and phrases have been queried over a specific period of time.

But it is much more than that.

You can use it for topic history, keyword research, product research, traffic source-check and more.

With this tool, you can get,

– Google trends for today (real-time)

– Google trends in India (country-based)

– Google trends for Youtube (channel-specific)

Among other things.

A simple yet powerful tool not only for Digital Marketers but for anyone.

How does Google Trends work?

Based on the data collected from the Knowledge Graph that identifies the searches happening – about people, places and things.

In this post, I’ll take you through this tool.

Step-by-step.

Let’s start!

Enter the Google Trends site.

The homepage looks like below.

google trends homepage

Select the country you want at the top right corner.

You don’t have a “worldwide” option here, but you’ll get it in the trend report.

Let’s select the United States.

Ok, once the country is selected, search for a keyword.

Let’s say you want to check the trend for Machine Learning as it a hot topic currently.

You’ll get the below page once you hit “enter”.

google trends machine learning

This page gives you more flexibility to search and compare.

You have the below four options.

google trends machine learning four options

The first one has the country list as on the previous page.

But here you can choose to look at the trend worldwide.

If you choose that option, the trend changes to the below.

google trends machine learning worldwide

This trend, by default, is for the past 12 months.

This is good, but to get a better picture, click on the second option.

You will see many options ranging from as close as “past hour” to as long as “2004 – present”.

Let’s select the “past 5 years” option.

Now the trends look like:

google trends machine learning past five years

You can see that the Machine Learning trend has been gaining global popularity since the last 5 years.

And the increase is higher post-2016.

You can hover on the graph to get the exact number.

google trends machine learning exact numbers

The third option on the page is for categories.

You can choose your category.

And the last option is for a channel.

google trends machine learning site options

So you see, you can narrow your search to quite a level of niche segments.

Before we start comparing keywords, let’s go through a few insights that this tool provides.

Interest by region report

On the same page, if you scroll down, you will see the “interest by region” report.

google trends machine learning interest by region

The region here usually refers to the country that term was most popular, for the given period.

You see that it is China that is leading.

The score is from 0 to 100 with 100 being the location with the most popularity.

The popularity number is based on percentages and not absolute numbers.

What does this mean?

If a small country has 80% of the searches for “Machine Learning” and a bigger country has 40% for the same search term, then the smaller country will rank higher.

Sound good so far?

Awesome, let’s continue.

In the same report, click “Region” at the top right corner.

Select “City”.

Now the trend changes to :

google trends machine learning city wise

The report is now city-wide based.

You can see that none of the top cities as from China.

Why?

Based on the way the numbers are calculated as explained before.

It is now done on a city level – independent of the respective countries.

So by changing the location you can get unique data sets for trends.

Coming to the last section of the page,

We have, “Related topics” and “Related queries”.

This is where you get the keywords to add to your site for ranking.

google trends machine learning related topics queries

Against each query, you can see “breakout” on the left side.

“Breakout” in Google Trends means that the keyword or query against it has grown by over 5000%.

Pretty cool right?

If you click on the next pages on these tabs, you’ll find the percentage increase of popularity for the keyword.

google trends machine learning related topics queries numbers

Click on the “rising” option and select “top”.

Like the Region report, this too changes to give the top topics and queries.

You can now get a list of all the keywords that have been trending for the past 5 years.

For all the above reports, you have the option of downloading, embedding and sharing.

For embedding, click on the option and copy the code given on your HTML page.

google trends embed report

Now coming to keyword trend comparison,

I’m sure you have heard or used “artificial intelligence” and “data science” while conversing about Machine Learning.

These three terms are often used in the same realm.

But generally, people will have their own opinion on these.

Let’s do a comparison for these and find out what the actual worldwide trend is, for all these three domains.

You already have the data for Machine Learning.

At the top of the page, on the right side, click “compare”.

Add the next term, say, “Artificial Intelligence”.

You will now have the trend report as follows:

Google trends machine learning artificial intelligence

There are different colours corresponding to each keyword.

Blue for ML and Red for AI.

You now see that although both of them had a similar trend, Machine Learning has outpaced AI.

Scrolling down to the region report,

You see that Israel has overtaken China, again based on the previous percentage-wise calculation.

Google trends machine learning artificial intelligence region report

If you scroll down further, the report is split.

For both the terms, it will give you region-wise and query-wise reports.

An again a lot of keywords to look for 😊.

Now we’ll add the term  – “data science”.

You find out that “data science” has been trending below the other two globally for a while now.

But it has picked up in the past year surpassing AI.

Google trends machine learning artificial intelligence data science

Generally, if you participate in a conversation regarding the above three topics, you can now state some facts on these based on the above trends.

Like before, Google Trends now gives you the reports for all three terms separately.

With more keywords than before.

But we’re not done yet.

The related query results, will vary depending on the keyword being a broad match or a phrase match.

What does that mean?

Type for – tennis shoes.

You get the below.

google trends tennis shoes

Now search for “tennis shoes” – with quotation marks.

google trends tennis shoes quotation marks

Check out the change in the results.

You see the difference?

In the first result, “tennis” and “shoes ” do not necessarily appear together.

Or not appear at all (second term in the list).

That is a broad match.

In the second result, they appear together  – as a phrase –  due to the quotation marks.

This is a phrase match.

So you can search for any kind of “matches” and get more in-depth keywords.

Once you are aware of desired trends and questions inside your target market, you can then create niche websites, articles, videos, specific products and services to help your audience.

One of the major advantages of Google Trends is Seasonal Trends.

Say, you search for “Mangoes”.

Settings on Worldwide for the past 5 years.

You get the below trend.

google trends mangoes

You can clearly make out that there is a trend here (you knew that of course, I just wanted to give an example).

And you can see that the nearest proximity peak has already been reached.

And it will trend downwards from this point.

Search again for “mountain bikes”.

You get the below.

google trends mountain bikes

Again you can observe a seasonal trend.

Search for “holiday”.

You get:

google trends holiday

Search for “back to school”.

And:

google trends back to school

You see all the above terms (Mangoes, mountain bikes, holiday and back to school) are seasonal.

But each has its own trend.

And the trend varies with country, time, category and platform.

“Back to school” on Youtube Search has a different trend than Web search with the rest of the factors being the same – as below.

google trends back to school youtube search

You can compare anything here, say dog food to cat food.

You see that the former is trending better than the latter.

google trends dog and cat food

Google Trends will give you a comparison between keywords or topics so that you can at least get an idea as to how you can align your marketing efforts.

Click on the “Burger” icon at the top left side before “Google Trends”.

You get the below options.

google trends burger icon

Click “explore”.

On this page, you will find all the search topics and search queries on Google.

Not just for your keyword.

You can again change the region, time, category and channel to get the trending report you want.

At the top, type any keyword, say, “chatbots”.

In the trend report, you can see that the trend is expected to go up – with the dotted line.

Google trends chatbots

If you scroll down, you will see all the trending topics and queries for that keyword.

Click on the “burger ” icon again at the top left side, before “Google Trends”.

In the dropdown, click “Trending Searches”.

You will find the current Google search trends.

And real-time search trends – country-wise.

Google trends real time trends

Click on the “burger” icon again.

Select “Year in Search”.

You will see all the trending searches for the specific country (the US in this case).

Google trends all searches in United States

Split into various topics like news, people, diet, fashion, food, movies and many more.

There are helpful sections like “How to”, “What is” etc.

Say you click on “What is Bitcoin?”.

google trends bitcoin

It will take you to the trend report again.

You see that the Bitcoin trend has steadily declined last year.

google trends bitcoin trend 2018

Could be because of the announcement of Libra by Facebook.

Anyway, you get the idea.

Is any data excluded in Google Trends?

Yes.

1. Searches from very few people.

2. Duplicate searches

3. Searches with considerable special characters.

You see there has to be a minimum amount of data to establish a trend in the first place.

So, these are the awesome things you can do with this tool.

You now know how to do trending-research which will help you prepare for your marketing plan.


Conclusion

Google dominates the global internet search.

So Google Trends is quite a reliable tool.

As I mentioned before, it is simple, easy to use and delivers a ton of data for your product research.

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