Google Insights gets a crystal ball

Ronny Kerr · August 18, 2009 · Short URL:

Google Insights for Search can now predict search trends, now available in 39 languages

Since its launch in August 2008, Google Insights for Search has for a year granted users a clean and accurate experience for tracking search trends on any user-inputted query.

Now, the tracking tool is getting a very cool update.

Besides being able to track the movement of trends in the past, Google Insights is now featuring a forecast ability in its search insights tool, as announced in a blog post yesterday.

Forwarded to the Google Research Blog, interested users discover revealing answers to questions many would have about the possibility of forecasting search trends. In short, the researchers were curious about the quantity and quality of those searches with predictable trends.

Publishing their work in a paper called On the Predictability of Search Trends, they write that “over half of the most popular Google search queries are predictable in a 12 month ahead forecast.” As for categories, “Health,” “Food & Drink,” and Travel proved the most predictable, while “Entertainment” and “Social Networks & Online Communities” proved the least.

Not letting the data go to waste, Google has updated its Insights for Search tool to actually display its trend projections for any search terms deemed predictable: Google provides basketball and Automotive (category) as examples.

Google Insights Forecast

Google surely provides the best answer to why this service is so important:

Having predictable trends for a search query or for a group of queries could have interesting ramifications. One could forecast the trends into the future, and use it as a "best guess" for various business decisions such as budget planning, marketing campaigns and resource allocations. One could identify deviation from such forecasting and identify new factors that are influencing the search volume as demonstrated in Flu Trends.

Other than adding forecasting capabilities, Google also updated Insights for Search by making it available in 39 languages. For a tool partially intended for revealing regional interest for searches, this makes a lot of sense.

This might be a tool to keep an eye on for those interested in tracking search trends.

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