I’ve been playing with Google Trends a bit lately – who hasn’t?
So, for instance, it’s interesting to know that Yahoo! is in the news more than Wall Street darling Google:
And that relatively tiny Apple generates almost as much press as mighty Microsoft – the gap is even narrowing lately:
But this is a rough ruler. There’s got to be an awful lot more specificity in Google’s database.
For instance, while normalizing for various regions is nice for tiny Singapore, which now shows up near the top in a lot of searches, it may not be very useful for an entrepreneur in North America.
And, to be blunt, the graphs are simply pretty lines on the wall right now … infoporn … chart cruft. There’s no actual magnitude data (500 million searches for Apple over the past year), only comparative data (hmm … the blue line on that chart seems to go up and down a lot).
While the trends are still nice to see, you have to think that there’s something bigger here that Google will pull out of its sleeve sooner or later: a paid trends analysis tool.
I mean, if you were XYZ BigCorp™, wouldn’t you pay $1000 a month for access to data like this:
- 3500 people searched for my product in Seattle this month
- 0 people searched for my product in Toronto this month
- there were 80,000 more people searching for my competitor’s product in the past month than were searching for my product
- the number of people searching for my company or my brand(s) online is increasing every month (or decreasing every month)
- the people who are searching for my product are also searching for these 5 other products
That would be incredibly valuable information, drawn from a huge sample, that companies would pay big dollars for. I’m wondering when Google (or Yahoo!, or any other search engine) will come out with a product like this.
The only question is: how will people using Google or the other search engines react? Will we view this as a privacy assault, or as simply a smart way to generate revenue from the wisdom of masses?[tags] google, trends, product, marketing, competitive intelligence, yahoo, john koetsier [/tags]