It is always useful to understand search trends.

If the number of searches for a particular word or phrase is going up relative to the total number of searches there is growing interest in that subject.

If it is going down there is a falling interest.

Google’s new free service, ‘Insights for Search’ , enables you to find the trends for any word or phrase.

For example, if I type in the word ‘SubHub’ I’m pleased to say that the trend is upwards and is accelerating since we launched our updated service.

The numbers on the graph reflect how many searches have been done for a particular term, relative to the total number of searches done on Google over time.

They don’t represent absolute search volume numbers. The graphs are intended to show trends, not search numbers. Search numbers can be found using Google’s Keyword Tool .

How Can You Use Google Insights for Search?


#1 Choosing Marketing Messages

At SubHub we were wondering which term, subscription websites or membership websites, is most widely used
by internet searchers.

We simply typed in both terms to the Insights search fields and we can instantly see that ‘membership websites’ (the blue line) is searched for significantly more often than ‘subscription websites’ (the red line), although it is interesting to see that the gap is closing. This insight means we know to use the term ‘membership websites’ in our marketing to reach the largest audience.

#2 Geographic Based Marketing Messages

Looking at the graph above it is also very valuable to note that the term ‘subscription websites’ is hardy ever searched for in the UK, yet it is searched for a significant number of times in the US.

This insight helps us to target our marketing messages and website optimisation to individual countries.

#3 Understanding Seasonality

This is not so relevant to us but for other industries this is very important. For example for the health sector it is very interesting to see the search pattern for the word ‘diet’.

As you would expect there is a drop before Christmas and a big spike in January! This will influence when diet suppliers market their services.

It is also possible to compare the search trends over the same time ranges in different years to see if the trends are changing.




Searching for the term ‘diet’ has remained very consistent every year over the Christmas holiday season.

#4 Identifying Most Searched Terms Within a Category

By choosing a category and using the filters you can identify the most frequently searched for words and phrases. If I do a search on the category ‘Newspapers’ and choose the filter ‘United Kingdom’ it lists the most frequently searched for words or phrases.

You can clearly see which newspapers are searched for most frequently. This is wonderful competitor intelligence.

#5 Entering New Markets

If I was starting a new website about the sport rugby I would want to know where my biggest online audience were located. I can quickly do a search using the search term ‘rugby’ across the major rugby playing nations.



This graph clearly shows that the greatest interest is in New Zealand, followed by Australia and the UK. This would influence how I rolled out my new website.

Other Uses?

You can probably think of dozens of other uses for this great new service. Please share your ideas in the comments section below.