Executives and business decision-makers love to see the trends and catch the trends, use trends to guide their decisions. This post would introduce 10 handy trend tools which are very helpful doing online research.
- Google Trends – Google Search Trends
- adCenter Search Volume Seasonality Trends
- adCenter Keyword Forecast
- Facebook Lexicon – Facebook Social Trends
- Twist – Trends in Twitter
- Trendpedia – Blog Trends
- BlogPulse from Nielsen – Another Blog Trends Tool
- Trendrr – Trends across Social Graphs and Networks
- Google Checkout Trends – Online Sales Trends
- Indeed Job Trends Tool
1. Google Trends – Google Search Trends
With Google Trends, you can compare up to 5 topics you are interested in and see how often they’ve been searched on Google over a period of time. It also shows how frequently your topics have appeared in Google News stories, and regions where they are searched for.
What can you do with Google Trends
Very common use with Google Trends is in search engine marketing and search engine optimization (SEO). Check out the search trends. you may not be interested in your company’s search operations, but Google Trends is a good tool to show you the trends of online users’ interests on a specific topic.
How to Use Google Trends
Google has one page giving detailed information about Google Trends. This is what you need to know to use it:
- news-reference-volume graph is just below the search-volume graph, which shows you the no. of times your topic appeared in Google News stories. When Google Trends detects a spike in the volume of news stories for a particular term,
- Google Trends labels the graph and displays the headline of an auto-selected Google News story written near the time of a spike it detects in the volume of news stories for a particular term.
- Only English headlines are displayed so far.
- Google Trends displays the top cities, regions, and languages in which people searched for the first term you entered. You can select the one you are most interested in; but, keep in mind it might the data might not be enough to show if the search volume is too low in a specific region.
- Use comma to separate up to 5 different topics to compare e.g. “internet, online”
- To see how many searches contained either terms, separate those terms with a vertical bar: “|”. For example, to determine how many searches contained the terms “internet” or “online,” just enter “internet | online”
- You can use parentheses for multi-word terms.
- You can use the minus sign to exclude terms. e.g. you want to see the trends for “marketing” but not “email marketing”, search “marketing-email”
More on Google Trends:
- Mothers Day + Google Trends = Cash
- Using Google Trends to fine-tune your news website
- Daily Google Hot Trends (US only)
2. adCenter Search Volume Seasonality Trends
It’s a tool from Microsoft adCenter Labs; you see see the trends and forecast seasonality patterns of search queries. As shown above, you can see the actual (red), forecast (blue), and Conf Interval.
It’s kinda similar to Google Trends tool; however, the queries you can check is quite limited, you input a keyword and if available, this tool would show you one or a few terms you can forecast the seasonality.
3. adCenter Keyword Forecast – Forecast the impression count and demographic predictions
Keyword Forecast is another tool from Microsoft adCenter Labs that forecasts the search volume and demographic predictions of your selected list of keywords. The difference from the above mentioned keyword forecast tool is, this one shows the actual search volume trends only and enables you to compare different terms.
Simply enter the keywords separated by semi-colons to try out. You can product the output in flash, image, or text format. The demographic predictions graph is quite interesting and helpful:
4. Facebook Lexicon: Facebook Social Trends
I introduced Facebook’s trends tool Lexicon days ago. You can refer to that post for details. ReadWriteWeb and MarketingPilgrim both have a good introduction to Lexicon that you can digest. Someone set up a Facebook Lexicon Blog too which does a lot of trends comparison.
In general, Facebook Lexicon is a nice tool to track Facebook communities’ interests.
5. Twist – Trends in Twitter
I’ve been using Twitter for a while though I don’t tweet a lot. But surprisingly, I recently found many local Singapore companies trying out this tool. If you still don’t have an idea what it is, its own introduction is quite self-explainable:
Twitter is a service for friends, family, and coâ€“workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing? Bloggers can use it as a mini-blogging tool.
Twist is a tool that enables you to see the trends in Twitter. It checks mentions of the queried terms in Twitters’ messages and show the graph over time.
6. Trendpedia – Blog Trends Search
With Trendpedia, you can find out the trends by searching blogs in various languages (sad, no Chinese, why?).
Trendpedia finds the articles online that talk about your topics. Trendpedia organizes the articles in a trendline that shows the popularity of the topic over time â€” you can track a topicâ€™s trendline from three months ago up to today.
Trendline is the number of blog posts posted per day that talk about the trends you search.
How To Use Trendpedia
- Enter one or more topics to search trends; Trendpediaâ€™s line chart shows the popularity of the topics over time. Click on the chart to visit blog entries from a particular day.
- You can search and track trends today, yesterday, last week, or over the last three months.
- The trends graphics display your trendlines and a total trends pie chart (todayâ€™s total Buzz break-down).
- “Advanced search” feature is for more targeted topics, as shown below:
7. BlogPulse from Nielsen – Another Blog Trends Tool
BlogPulse is an automated trend discovery system for blogs from Nielsen BuzzMetrics. It has a similar search UI as Trendpedia:
which one is better? I leave that to you to judge.
8. Trendrr – Identify Trends across Social Graphs and Networks
You can use Trendrr to track data and identify trends across social graphs and networks, realize the potential of p2p, and track engagement metrics.
What can you Do with Trendrr
- Monitor the popularity of your brands or products
- Track just how many people are favoriting the latest video.
- Compare the popularity of anything.
- Share about interesting data or trends youâ€™ve identified
* Trendrr yourself (yes, Iâ€™m using Tren
Trendrr is not only a tool to identify and track trends but also a community for trends fans. The interface is not as simple as Google Trends or Lexicon, but it is indeed a powerful tool for trends research. Find out more about Trendrr here, here, and here.
9. Google Checkout Trends
Google Checkout Trends aggregates the sales data of Google Checkout merchants and charts it in a matter of seconds. See how popular a brand product of a particular product category is, and compare it with a similar product. Getting a feel with this tool about the seasonality of a particular product category is helpful to guide your similar product online marketing efforts.
10. Indeed Job Trends Tool
Indeed.com searches millions of jobs from thousands of job sites. This job trends graph shows the percentage of jobs we find that contain your search terms.
You can choose the absolute (above image) scale or relative (below) scale to see the trends:
Try out these online trends tools yourself and share your findings below. And, use them to guide your decision making and actions; do not completely reply on them.