Google held their annual press day today, inviting the unwashed hordes to the company's pristine Mountain View campus, to give updates, answer questions, and of course, to introduce new goodies the search giant has been cooking up in their labs.
For me, the most interesting introduction was that of "Google Trends", which can show how frequently terms are searched for on the site, over time. Visitors to Google Trends can pick multiple keywords to search on - for instance, "Microsoft, Apple" or "Dick Cheney, Karl Rove", to compare how "hot" one keyword was across the entire Google-sphere, versus another. The Google Trends service also features news stories on the right side of your results, ostensibly to show whether hard news played any part in a search term's popularity.
Now, this isn't the first time that a service has debuted that compares Google searches to one another. A more amusing service is a product called "Google War", which, without Google approval, searches on two keywords, and shows you which one has the most results - in effect giving you a keyword's popularity by the number of times it is mentioned, rather than gauging its popularity by how many people are searching for it on a given day. GoogleFight has a similar service.
Early feedback on Google Trends has been positive. Some have gone so far as to say that public relations professionals should bookmark some searches, to see if there is indeed a trend of searching against hard news, or to gauge whether product launches are successfully entering the public mind, or if one product has more mindshare against another. You can get started on learning how to be trendy here. For a full webcast of Google's press day, visit their site.
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