A while back I wrote about how to use Google Trends to help guide your organic seo efforts and I mentioned that Google’s trend tool appeared to suggest Obama would win the United States Presidential election over Mccain. Lets take a look at the data I gathered in June of 2008: Obama vs mccain google trend data for June 2008 You can see that there were more searches related to the word "Obama" than the word "Mccain". Now lets take a look at current trend activities through the November 4th election.

We’re also seeing that there are currently still more Google searches being conducted for "Obama" than "Mccain". If you compare the trend chart with USA Today’s 2008 Presidential poll chart you get a similar pattern (blue for Obama, red for Mccain):

As a side note, barackobama.com received far more traffic according to Google and compete.com If you’re a search marketer then you might be thinking "if Google can predict political elections what else might we use the tool to predict"?

  • Steady traffic vs Seasonal trends – steady traffic is probabl a better candidate for SEO where seasonal trends would be better suited for PPC budgets. Try doing a query for "romantic gifts" and see what you get.
  • Combine popular search terms to find new, upcoming searches, then begin optimizing for those keywords. One interesting example I found is "avatar" and "video clip", both are popular phrases but when you combine them to get "video avatar" you get a nice upward sloping graph.
  • Keyword location tells you where to target PPC – Google trends lets you sort by geographical location so that you know which areas have more interest in your keywords and Adwords conveniently lets you target by geographical region, think that was a coincidence?
  • Reap, hot organic search traffic – Hot trends let you see what keywords people are viewing right now and can help you decide what content you can put up quickly to generate inbound organic search traffic – this strategy might be best suited for larger sites that have dedicated writers.
  • Domaining – hot keywords tell you which domain names are going to be more advantageous to own in terms of perceived value, domain traffic and search engine trust. The keyword locations feature can also tell you which country top level domain to purchase based on search traffic in that country/region.
  • Expanding your site – If you’re already in the market and doing well with your product or service, look around to see if there are other, increasing trends or products that compliment your primary focus and go from there. If a broad keyword produces a large traffic volume on trends then it can be a good indicator that there are many related, longer tail keyword searches under that board keyword spectrum – you can expand your site upon that long tail traffic stream.
  • Prioritizing word stems – while other tools sometimes combine plural and non-plural words, trends will give you the difference in search traffic, such as the quality of traffic on "home" vs "homes".

Google trends is nice but also has it’s drawbacks. For example, by default trends returns broad keyword data so sometimes results can be a bit misleading, i.e. "marketing" includes data from "search marketing" – but I still like the tool quite a bit. If you know of any other beneficial ways to utilize trends feel free to comment 😉


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Anonymous • 10 years ago

do the same thing with ron paul and see who should have won the election!
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Anonymous • 10 years ago

If this is true, then Sarah Palin would win in a landslide. She's still outranking Obama and McCain in GTrends.
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