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Google Trends – you’ve heard it before. Be it in connection with popular search queries or with the annual review that Google publishes annually. But how does the tool actually work? And what all the efforts of data collection and evaluation for?
We’ll take a look at how Google Trends works and what benefits it can have if you know how to use it.
For this purpose, we have a manual ready for you so that you can acquire the necessary knowledge about how to use Google Trends. Google Trends is completely free to use and offers real-time viewing of relevant data as well as a review and forecasts.
Also, we will introduce you to some components of this year’s annual review that provide interesting insights and help us understand the context in which terms and topics are used on Google.
The term “Google Trends” describes an online service from Google that analyzes the search behavior of its users. It provides information about which search terms were entered most frequently in the search engine.
The most popular terms are published by Google about the total search volume and in a time sequence. This list has been published since 2004 and refers either to the whole world or only to individual regions.
Since 2012, the functions of Google Insights, which have existed since 2008, have been integrated into Google Trends.
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The general use of Google Trends
Some may find it good that Google creates statistics on the search behavior of users. The others may still have their doubts about the extent to which it is necessary to collect and process such information.
However, Google Trends has proven to be very useful in the past. The data is also collected anonymously so that Google does not publish any search queries in connection with individual users, but only the search query itself, the time, and the place, whereby this is only determined and displayed down to the city.
So users don’t have to worry about Google monitoring which search queries they make as individuals and putting this information publicly on the web. Data protection is preserved here, as this is an increasingly important topic.
Often you are not really aware of the effects your own search queries as a user of Google can have. Of course, a single search on the search engine doesn’t change much, but if a collective enters the same term on Google at a certain time or within a period, it can look different.
Thanks to the online service, it is possible to analyze the popularity of terms and phrases in a temporal context or for a specific region.
In this way, you can find out which topics are currently popular in society or which concern people. For example, in the annual review, which we will go into later, Google creates rankings of topics that were particularly popular around the world or in individual countries. But what do the analyzes bring us?
One example is the flu. It was found that at the same time as many users entered their symptoms on Google, there was also a high volume of visits to the doctor.
They have been diagnosed with influenza. With this knowledge and corresponding analysis, Google has since been able to issue a weekly estimate of actual flu cases.
This is not only of great importance for our health system, many employers and HR departments can also plan their plans accordingly.
These interesting results can be transferred to many other areas, such as the stock market. Here there is an interplay of the search query for company name and subsequent transactions on the stock exchange.
As you can see, it is not only interesting to observe the Google Trends published weekly, it can also be of benefit to private individuals or companies.
Google Trends and SEO
But not only the general public or individual companies that are represented on the stock exchange benefit from Google Trends.
You too can benefit from the online service as an advertiser or with your website represented on the Internet. The keyword is SEO. It is derived from English and stands for search engine optimization.
Search engine optimization means that a website and the texts on it are adapted – i.e. optimized – so that they are more visible for Internet users.
The ranking of websites by the search engine plays a big role because the higher a page is ranked, the higher up it is displayed in the search results. Once your page appears on the first page of Google’s search results.
As we know, Google Trends deals with popular searches. And keywords play a very important role in the field of SEO. What we mean by keywords and why they are so important for websites, we search heroes have already put together in a guide.
But how do Google Trends, SEO, and Keywords finally fit together? Above all, keywords should ensure that your page is viewed by many and above all interested users.
Therefore, if you set a term as a keyword that is seldom entered in the search engine, the number of visitors will be at least as low, or visits to the page will be completely absent because the page is simply not found as often.
However, if a term is chosen that is particularly popular with Google users, you can expect an increase in visitors. With keywords, you can also control the target group you want to address.
For example, select the terms as keywords that are verifiably used in the search engine by users from the Berlin area, Your visitors will most likely be people from or related to Berlin. So always stay up to date with the latest Google trends.
By the way, you can use the comparison function of the Google Trends tool to determine a new keyword. This allows you to put two search terms in a direct comparison and you can better weigh which one you want to define as a keyword.
If you are missing the ideas for new keywords yourself, we recommend that you scroll down to the bottom of the Google Trends page. Here the online service suggests similar search queries that you could use for comparison.
As already mentioned, the location and the category are also two crucial parameters. If you run a site that is primarily of interest to users in your region, it makes sense to adapt the query in Google Trends accordingly.
Keywords through Google Trends
You now know why Google Trends can help your website get more clicks.
Now it’s just time to figure out how. One or the other might think that it is best to always chase the current trends and constantly revise the keywords – maybe even with the top 10 that Google publishes regularly.
But that would not only mean an immense additional expenditure of time. The text quality would also suffer massively from such an approach.
Bringing keywords into a text can often be a problem, as you always have to strike a balance between legible text and the highest possible keyword density.
If you were to adjust your text over and over again, the naturalness and legibility of the text would definitely suffer. And not every term that is published as a top trend in Google Trends fits your topic.
It is therefore much better to revise your existing keywords.
Our guide will show you how:
Use the handy Google Trends tool to find out whether your previously used keyword is frequently entered in the search engine or not. Please also note that you can choose the region, the period, and the category yourself.
In a later section, we will go into step-by-step details of how to perform the query in Google Trends in such a way that relevant data is displayed that you can implement for your own website.
If the query shows that your keyword is already being entered frequently in the search engine and that also in regions in which you offer your product or service, for example, then you can sit back and relax:
You are probably already seeing a high number of page views and your website has a high level of traffic from relevant target groups.
However, if your chosen term is not one of the popular queries in the search engine or is not represented in your region at all, you should act now.
By researching Google Trends, you can better assess your chances and have an explanation for a possibly lower number of clicks or for views in regions that are of little use to you.
If this is the case, it is advisable to find a similar term, which is higher up in the Google Trends and is often searched for by users in your country or city, provided the regional aspect is important for your website.
Again, make sure that the new term fits your topic. After all, you don’t want to falsify your content, but rather optimize it for higher visitor growth.
If you display the search queries for a specific term in a specified region, the results are much more meaningful and relevant for you. And the category can also be narrowed down.
You also have the option of only displaying search queries in the Google image search or news search area, for example. This shows you how popular your chosen term is in the relevant section of Google.
For example, if you rotate videos that you upload to YouTube, it will be interesting for you to know whether the keywords, that you have set for your video description will be searched for in YouTube by users. This function is also very helpful if you want to reach certain target groups with your website.
Google trends and trending searches
Do you think trends and popular searches are one and the same thing? We have to disappoint you here because Google is far more complex than this simple calculation.
If you enter a keyword in the search engine and it is assigned to a category, the current trend may be different from the most frequently entered keyword.
The time factor is important here: Google collects data from previous search queries and derives trends and forecasts from it. And forecasts do not correspond to actual numbers of search queries made by users.
This creates a big difference that you shouldn’t ignore when looking at Google Trends.
Your benefit from forecasts
We have already explained elsewhere why you can benefit from Google Trends. So far we have only gone into the actual trends. But the forecasts can also help you to make your website more popular and present.
In the field of SEO (search engine optimization), it is of great importance to know whether the terms that are enjoying great popularity today will also be popular tomorrow or in a week.
The forecasts made by Google Trends show you whether the number of future searches for a term or phrase will increase or decrease.
By understanding and using this helpful tool, you can identify and eliminate keywords that are stagnating traffic on your page.
How you can define new keywords for your texts has already been mentioned or, alternatively, you can read in our guide for defining the right keywords.
Find Your Way Around Google Trends
In the meantime, we have already gone into great detail about the benefits and purpose of Google Trends.
However, since the online service offers a lot of possibilities, it makes sense to consider how to use it correctly to receive the desired information and to be able to process it later.
Perhaps you are already familiar with it and just want to find out more about the range of functions. Or maybe you’ve never dealt with Google Trends and are just starting to dig into it.
In any case, it makes sense to look at the way you work with Google Trends if you want to work with it in the future.
Get started on Google Trends
To get started, you should first go to the Google Trends page, which you can reach using the URL trends.google.de or google.de/trends. Current trends and topics are already displayed on this page.
For example, the current annual review and popular searches from the last few hours. In the upper part of the screen, you have the option to enter a search term or a topic.
Now type in the term “search engine optimization”, for example, and press Enter, start the query on Google Trends. For the sake of clarity, let’s divide the screen you are viewing into four sections.
At the very top, in the upper quarter, the term you entered is displayed, and directly below there are four setting options. Use the drop-down menu to select a region, a period, a category, and a relevant area within the Google universe – here you determine whether it is, for example, a web search or an image search.
Overall, there are many options available to you: Select either a country, a federal state or a city as the region. The region can be pinpointed to the city, although small villages are not represented.
The second factor determines the period of time in which you want to shed light on the popularity of your term. Search here, for example, within the last five years, the last thirty days, or the last hour.
You can also enter any time period you specify. To do this, simply click on the “Specific period” button in the drop-down menu and enter a start and end date for your query.
You can also select a view that extends over more than a year. This allows you to consider the increase or decrease in popularity of a term in recent years.
Since Google Trends as such has existed since 2004 and only since then has the data required to create the trends been collected, your research on any topic or search term is only possible for this year.
There are hardly any limits to you in the various categories either. Either search in all categories or determine the field that is relevant to you.
There are numerous sub-topics under each topic. Just give it a try and see what options Google Trends offers you to narrow down.
Lastly, you should decide whether it is a web search, an image search, a Google Shopping search, a YouTube search, or a Google News search. Only one option can be selected in this section.
Often, however, the type of term or your own field of activity determines which options you can choose here. If you sell products on your website, the Google Shopping search is relevant for you, a YouTuber logically selects YouTube as a criterion here.
Interpret the evaluations
You have now successfully set four parameters. Directly underneath – we refer to it as the second quarter of the page for this consideration – the first clear diagram is now shown to you by Google.
It shows the interest in the search term you entered over time. Google also tells us on this page that the values indicate search interest relative to the highest point on the chart.
Of course, these data relate to the selected region and the period that you have determined. The value 100 stands for the greatest possible popularity of the search term.
The value 50 indicates that the term is half as popular and the value 0 indicates that not enough data could be collected for the term.
With this information, it will be possible for you to correctly interpret the diagram created by Google.
A little tip on the side: Download the file using the associated icon on the right-hand side and export it to a table (e.g. Excel). You will now see all the numbers used to create the diagram.
This makes it easier for many users to understand and process the exact values. This function can be particularly helpful for comparisons that require precise data.
The next graph, located in the third quarter of the page, shows interest by sub-region. Again, choose between sub-region or city using a drop-down menu on the right-hand side.
When asked for Germany, the sub-regions represent the sixteen federal states.The number of cities displayed varies depending on the search term.
For some terms that you enter in the Google Trends query, however, no graphic is displayed if you want to search at the city level. The reason for this is that there is not enough data here yet.
The graphic itself shows you on the world or map in varying degrees of blue how popular your topic or search term is in the respective region. The legend, which is right next to it, shows the values in numbers, which is helpful for a detailed analysis.
In the last quarter of the page, you will now see similar search terms and related topics.
In our example – the word “search engine optimization” entered in the search line – we get suggested related topics including “website”, “local search engine optimization,” and “Microsoft Bing”.
On the page with similar search terms, there are examples of “search engine optimization Osnabrück” or “search engine optimization Bonn”. The results are based on the fact that users who searched for the term we entered in the search engine also started other, similar searches on Google.
Select the “Growing” view for searches that have increased the most since the last time, or “Top” for the most popular searches.
How to compare search terms
In the previous section, we showed which data Google shows in its online service Google Trends and how it is presented. But we have not yet discussed an interesting possibility: the comparison of search terms.
To do this, open Google Trends via the URL as described above and search for a term. In our example, we would like to compare the search term “search engine optimization” with “SEO”.
So we type “search engine optimization” into the search field and carry out the search by pressing the Enter key. Now we come to the already known page.
There is now another field to the right of the first search term. We click into it and type in “SEO”. Now we can compare the increase or decrease in popularity of both terms in terms of region and time period.
With the help of the comparison function, it is possible to compare up to five term groups, each of which can contain up to 25 terms – in real time. Simply add more terms using the plus symbol. With the x symbol, you remove a selected term.
It should be noted at this point that no spelling errors, variants in the spelling, synonyms, plural or singular forms are included. Conversely, this means that you can, for example, compare the terms “lamp” and “lamp”.
But it is also possible to compare a search query as a topic or a term. Where’s the difference? In the search results, users receive hits for all terms in the search query, which are displayed in the corresponding language.
For example, if you search for the term “banana”, the results will include searches for terms such as “banana” or “banana sandwich”. However, if you type in “banana sandwich,” the results will include searches for “banana sandwich,” “banana for lunch,” and “peanut butter sandwich.”
A topic, on the other hand, is a group of terms that represent a particular concept that is the same in every language. For example, if you search for the topic “London”, the search will include results for the topics “Capital of Great Britain” or “Londres”, which is the Spanish word for the city.
The benefit for website operators
In theory, all of this may sound a bit complex and, to one or the other, also sound abstract. So how you can leverage this theoretical knowledge about Google Trends is important.
Test the functionality of Google Trends with a few sample search terms and see for yourself what options the tool has in store for you.
The fact that Google can differentiate between terms and topics is due to the use of different technologies. These include, for example, semantic databases and machine learning algorithms.
Since the search engine is so intelligent and is constantly learning, it recognizes topics and can assign keywords accordingly if they are entered by users in the Google search.
Therefore, do not necessarily always concentrate on individual keywords, but pay attention to topics.
With the current state of Google, it is possible to generate high traffic with it. This could possibly mean an even higher number of visitors to your website.
Google Trends in 2020
The year is drawing to a close and you can now use Google Trends to find out which search queries have been most popular in the past twelve months.
Google recently published its annual review. For this review, however, the most frequently searched terms are not evaluated, but the highest increase in the search volume for search terms.
These evaluations show which topics, personalities or headlines have preoccupied the population over the course of the year. The practical subdivision into different categories results in different rankings. This also includes the general search terms section.
1st place: "Coronavirus"
As expected, the term “coronavirus” is number one in general search queries in 2020. Since the global pandemic has affected everyone on this planet and changed many lives, this is an expected result.
Related questions that were typed into the search field on Google, such as “Where does the coronavirus come from?” Or “What is Corona?”, have increased significantly in recent times.
As Google itself announces, in 2020 it happened for the first time that a topic was as strongly represented in every list as Corona. It was constantly present – also in the search engines – and that’s why Google created a special category this year.
This ranking includes search queries such as “Corona current”, “RKI” or “Corona symptoms”. A total of ten topics related to Corona are ranked in this special list.
2nd place: "US election"
3rd place: "Weather tomorrow"
The question of the weather is and will remain a popular search query – a long-running hit. Quickly typing in the search engine while you find yourself in front of the crucial question: “T-shirt or sweater?”, The question about the weather on the next day takes third place in the 2020 ranking.
The top questions 2020
But Google doesn’t just evaluate popular search terms in its annual review. A ranking of the most popular questions asked of the search engine during the year was also published. These are subdivided into the categories “Where-Questions”, “When-Questions” or “Why-Questions”. We will show you the top 10 question categories below.
- Where is the hurricane now?
- Where does school fail tomorrow?
- Where can I get a face mask?
- Where is Hanau?
- Where does Donald Duck live?
- Where is the fire in Australia?
- Where can I get tested for Corona?
- Where do I have to wear a face mask?
- Where does the coronavirus come from?
- Coronavirus in Germany – where?
- Why were Kellogg’s cornflakes invented?
- Why are so many dying of Corona in Italy?
- Why was George Floyd arrested?
- Why is Xavier Naidoo with DSDS?
- Why does everyone buy toilet paper?
- Why is Dietmar Hopp insulted?
- Why do we celebrate Pentecost?
- Why is Corona so dangerous?
- Why are menthol cigarettes banned?
- Why is there no yeast?
- When do the schools open again?
- When do hairdressers open again?
- When does the gym open again?
- When does the child benefit bonus come?
- When does the VAT reduction apply?
- When to the doctor with corona symptoms?
- When is Corona over?
- When is the storm coming?
- When will Merkel speak again?
- When does Ikea open again?
With its online service Google Trends, Google offers an overview of the most popular search queries worldwide.
These can be set in a temporal and regional context and thus provide information about which topics are frequently entered by users in the search engine.
This possibility and the associated optimization of your keywords can help you to increase visitor numbers and a relevant target group. That is why Google Trends has become more and more important in recent years for the operators of websites that deal with SEO.
Using Google Trends is relatively easy once you have found your way around the tool. The data can be called up at any time and retrospectively and is available free of charge.
For your own interests as a private person or as the operator of a website, the annual review published by Google is also useful. This contains some rankings that list the topics that were of great importance in the year analyzed.