Google has updated its Google Trends search page with several new features to make it easier for users to find the specific trend information they are seeking.
The improved Trend page comes just after Google released its 13th annual Zeitgeist list of the most popular trending searches for the year. No. 1 on that list was former South African President Nelson Mandela, followed by searches for the actor Paul Walker and the Apple iPhone 5S. Google releases the Zeitgeist, or "Spirit of the Times," lists and an accompanying Year in Review video each December to highlight the top trending searches by online visitors to Google.com in the past year.
The new Trends updates are related to the Zeitgeist lists and trends efforts, wrote Nemo Tamir, a Google software engineer, in a Dec. 18 post on the Google Inside Search Blog.
"We hope you enjoyed exploring the year in searches yesterday as part of the annual Year-End Google Zeitgeist," wrote Tamir. "Now that you've had a chance to see the video, explore the charts, and dive into what's on people's minds everywhere from Sydney to Omaha, you may be interested to learn about some updates to Google Trends that can extend the Zeitgeist experience year-round. As of yesterday, you'll see a number of updates to help you discover interesting tools and stories, find locally relevant information, and do it all on the go on your mobile phone."
The most obvious change in Google Trends is the updated home page, he wrote, which formerly first presented users with the most recent Hot Searches. Now users can go to the Top Charts listings to see what is trending at that moment, while also perusing a far wider range of ongoing trends, Tamir wrote. "With Top Charts, you can explore how different topics stack up against each other, from athletes, to song lyrics, to stocks. You can also search or click 'Explore In-Depth' and look up detailed reports for any topic you want (including entities and topics)."
Also new to Trends is the ability to search for trends in 72 nations around the world, wrote Tamir. Previously, only trends in the United States were searchable. "If you're interested in trends outside the U.S., we hope you'll enjoy a more locally relevant experience with three updates. First, now you'll find annual Top Charts for 72 countries. There's plenty to dig into, with 1,000+ annual charts for 2013 and 2,000+ from previous year's Zeitgeist lists."
Users can also now for the first time view Hot Searches for 47 countries, up from the 14 that previously were featured, wrote Tamir. "Finally, you'll find support for right-to-left scripts (RTL) and six new languages (Arabic, Bengali, Farsi, Hebrew, Malay, and Malayam). To check out all the local Top Charts and Hot Searches, select a region in the upper left-hand corner of Google Trends."
Mobile users also receive better performance now when they use Trends on their mobile devices, wrote Tamir. "Now when you land in Vietnam, not only can you check out what's hot locally with Top Charts and Hot Searches, you can finally do it on your mobile phone in an optimized experience," he wrote. "You'll find a much more efficient and touchable interface, enabling you to check out what's Trending, who's topping the charts, or even explore complex search data … all while you're on the go."