Google Insights for Search

Hands up who’s heard of Google Insights for Search? My hand is staying down which as a discerning tech lover I probably shouldn’t freely admit? It had apparently launched last August though fact fans which in Google world is a long time ago. So what is it? Let’s essentially think of it as a stripped down version of your very own Google Analytics but for search. It’s actually pretty useful on getting a more detailed picture on what people are searching for, where and when.

Much like Google Trends, you can use Insights for Search to analyze search volume patterns over time, as well as related queries and rising searches. You can also compare search trends across multiple search terms, categories, geographic regions, or specific time ranges. Insights can help you can analyze everything from interest levels in rival football teams (I’ve chosen my home town team of Nottingham Forest Vs bitter rivals Derby County but you see how it works. Take note @tim_whirledge) Or maybe even the relative popularity of politicians? (In this case Barack Obama Vs Gordon Brown)

In the last few days, additional features have been launched that allow you to see what the world is searching for beyond Google Web Search, by adding new data sources including Google News, Image Search, and Product Search. The new Insights lets you break down search data in several ways. For starters, you can take a look at the rising News searches over the past 7, 30, or 90 days

You can also view the popularity of a given query across different geographies, from country-level down to individual metropolitan areas. For journalists and newspapers, this feature could be a useful tool to gauge interest levels in different subjects among a reader base.

For example, with the Formula 1 season coming back in to action at the weekend kicking off in Melbourne, Australia, I was curious to see where in the world interest in Formula 1 was highest. I initally thought it would be highest in Australia with all the mentions stemming from the fact that the first race is in Melbourne and everyone would be really excited about it. I was wrong. Australia was down in 8th place for regional interest. How did I find that out?

I tried a search for “Formula 1” and used the ‘Google Web Search’ filter over the past 7 days. Interest was found to be highest in Spain, passionate and vocal F1 fans, with Costa Rica and South Africa running closely behind as you can see on the map below:

Regional Split

Of course, Insights for Search can’t quite explain these search asymmetries, but they’re interesting to note nonetheless!

Interesting stuff I’m sure you may well agree. It’s not a revolution, more an evolution. It might just give you that bit more granular level of detail when you’re doing a search so for that, it comes highly recommended. Start exploring right away on the Google Insights for Search homepage or head on over to the Inside Adwords Blog to find out more.

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