Google announced today it’s expanding the focus of its Google Trends service – the site that lets anyone track what the world’s web searchers are looking for in both real time and non-real time. The service now includes data from more Google products beyond web search, the company says, with the addition of search data from verticals like Google News, Shopping, Images and YouTube.
The expansion makes sense given that Google searches aren’t just about people typing in keywords into a browser to see a set of standard results as a series of links. Even Google’s search results pages have long reflected the wide variety of possible search results – combining things like videos, images and news items alongside web links has been par for the course for a decade or so, since the launch of Universal Search.
As Google explains in a blog post about the changes to Google Trends, the added data will allow users to explore search results in different ways than was previously possible.
For example, a search for the keywords “Taylor Swift” via Google Trends would have let you drill down into search interest around that topic from web searches, but now you can see things like what related videos people are searching for on YouTube.
To use the feature, you type in your keywords into the Google Trends search box as before, then select the appropriate topic from the autocomplete suggestions. (For example, in Taylor Swift’s case, you’d pick the “singer-songwriter” topic at the top of the list.)
From here, you can dig into the trends from web searches, including filtering by geography or time frame. But you can now also choose from other options via a new filter. Here, you can opt to see data from other Google verticals like Image Search, News Search, Google Shopping and YouTube Search.
This gives you more angles into a search trend. To continue the Taylor Swift example, Google shows how a recent The Tonight Show appearance by the singer may lead to spikes in people searching for her performance on the show on YouTube, or images from that show on Google Images. These are shown as related topics and search interest is indicated with a percentage increase next to each climbing item.
As with web searches, you can use the new tool to see where, geographically, interest is strongest for the given topic across Google’s other verticals.
The Google Trends service is often used by researchers and journalists who use the data to report on major events happening around the world, and their impact on culture. It’s also a more in-depth and granular way to parse Google’s data than what’s provided to advertisers through things like AdWords’ insights into search volumes.
The new filtering options are live now on Google Trends’ website.