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.”
Google Trends Page Updated to Give Users More Information
Google previously updated Trends in May 2013 when it first added the Top Charts feature to help users keep up with the latest people, places, products and subjects that are trending in Google searches. The lists, which are ranked by search interest by millions of users online, are updated monthly. A wide assortment of more than 40 list categories are featured in Top Charts, including actors, animals, athletes, authors, baseball players, baseball teams, books, cars, cities, colleges and universities, movies, musical artists, politicians, reality shows, retail companies, scientists and more.
The 2013 Zeitgeist list, which was released Dec. 17, is Google’s largest such effort yet, with 1,000-plus top 10 lists across categories such as “Trending People,” “Most-Searched Events” and “Top Trending Searches” from 72 countries. “Trending” Web searches are searches about hot topics that had the highest amount of traffic over a sustained period in 2013 as compared with 2012.
Rounding out the Top 10 list for most popular global trending searches for 2013 are Cory Monteith, a Canadian actor who died in July from a drug overdose; Harlem Shake dances; the Boston Marathon and the horrific terrorist bombings that occurred there this year on April 15; the birth of the Royal baby, Prince George, to Prince William and Kate Middleton in England; the introduction of the new Samsung Galaxy S 4 smartphone; the debut of the new Sony PlayStation 4 gaming system; and North Korea and its leaders and ongoing controversies.
The Boston Marathon bombings topped the Global Events List for 2013, followed by Typhoon Haiyan, which decimated the Philippines, and the U.S. government shutdown.
Just a year ago, Google’s Zeitgeist 2012 global and U.S. search lists were topped by Whitney Houston and her volatile personal life and tragic death in February 2012, followed by the Gangnam Style dance and the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. The Apple iPad 3 came in at No. 4, and the video game “Diablo 3” landed in the No. 5 spot in 2012.
Rounding out the rest of the top 10 global searches for 2012 were Kate Middleton at No. 6; the 2012 Olympics at No. 7; Amanda Todd, a Canadian teen who committed suicide in October after being the victim of vicious bullying, at No. 8; actor Michael Clarke Duncan (the big actor from “The Green Mile”) at No. 9; and the television show “Big Brother Brazil 2012” (BBB12) in the 10th spot.
The Google Zeitgeist list was quite different in 2011, when one-hit Web wonder Rebecca Black, who sang the song “Friday,” ranked first, followed by searches about Google’s then-new Google+ service. Actor Ryan Dunn, the “Jackass” TV show star who was killed in an auto accident in June 2011, ranked third on that list, followed by Casey Anthony, who was found not guilty in the death of her 2-year-old daughter, in fourth. The top five in 2011 was rounded out by the release of the first-person shooter video game “Battlefield 3.”