Learn How to Use and Harness the Power of Google Trends

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Google Trends is a website from Google that allows you to see visualizations of what others have been collectively searching for with Google. Google Trends graphs data, such as how often a term is used over time and where geographically most people are searching for a given term. You can also compare more than one term to view relative popularity.

Explore Mode

If you don't have a specific search phrase in mind, the best way to understand Google Trends is just by using Google Trends' Explore suggestions. Google gives suggestions, such as the names of presidential candidates and the states in which searches for each candidate is most popular. Keep drilling down to find breakdowns on related queries over time.

Google Trending Searches or 'Hot Trends'

Google Trends includes a frequently updated tab on current trending searches. This list used to be known as Google Hot Trends. Trending searches are search queries that are rising in popularity rather than just the key phrases that are the most popular in raw volume. This isn't an absolute measure of popularity, as the most popular searches, according to Google, tend to be pretty steady over time. Trending searches are generally updated within an hour or so. 

You can explore a trending search by hovering over the item with your mouse and then clicking on the Explore In-Depth button. You can also share a link to a trending item through social media or by email.

This used to be broken down into Hot Topics and Hot Searches. Hot Searches measured current trending searches or searches that had seen recent upticks in popularity, while Hot Topics was more about general Internet buzz as measured by social media streams like Facebook and Twitter. The Hot Topics breakdown slowly changed into Top Charts. 

Top Charts

Top Chart shows trending queries around musicians, books, animals, cities, cars, and other items. An increase in search volume does not necessarily indicate an increase in favorability. Top cities, for example, often lists cities that have recently seen a weather disaster. People are simply more curious about the city than they were the week before. 

YouTube Trends or 'Hot Videos'

You can look at YouTube trending videos (or "Hot Videos") through Google Trends. Note that this is a slightly different list than what you'd find on YouTube's list of trending videos. The refresh rate for YouTube trending videos on Google Trends is also a little slower than it is on Google Trending Searches.