Google updates trends and redirects insights

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Keyword research is pivotal to any online strategy. SEOs around the world know the importance of obtaining useful data on specific terminology that will convert traffic through organic search. There are many ways in obtaining this information, I usually start by interviewing an expert in the field – sometimes this is independent of the client so that you obtain an unbiased view of the product/service.

Any serious SEO should also obtain data from additional channels (such as PPC or social) that highlight current interaction with your audience. Then there is the discovery and keyword refining phase, which is where some of Google’s free tools come in. This morning I noticed that Google Trends has had a facelift, whilst Google Insights is no more.

Google have placed a 301 redirect on Google Insights to Google Trends:

Google insights 301 redirect to google trends

The URL is still being indexed, due to the redirect only being implemented today, but this will eventually drop out as the PageRank and value is consolidated to Google’s Trends page:

Google insights listed within the SERPs

When viewing the new search interface for the first time, one feature sticks out like a sore thumb, ‘Hot Searches (United States)’:
Google Trends interface

This was an annoying feature on the old service as it surely should either be UK focused (considering where I am) or not included at all? Hopefully Google will look at supplying country specific information or at least having the choice to toggle between ‘US’ and ‘Other’? The inclusion of stories for ‘Honey Boo Boo’ (who ever that is) and ‘Powerball numbers’ couldn’t be any less relevant for a UK audience or user.

Looking at a ‘hot topic’, the Chelsea captain John Terry was found guilty of using abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour towards Queens Park Rangers’ Anton Ferdinand. So lets have a look at ‘John Terry’ as a search term:

Google trends review of John Terry search term

So a couple of initial pointers:

      All the information now fits on the screen rather than having to scroll down
      The website traffic trends option is no longer featured
      Forecast data isn’t automatically included and the option isn’t selectable

A refined search does pretty much the same as before, providing useful suggestions based upon the duration and location:

John Terry Google trends in UK for past thirty days

Comparing search terms offers pretty much the same functionality as before:

John Terry versus Wayne Rooney in Google trends

You can still toggle between search terms, extract keyword popularity and view spikes in keyword demand. So, to conclude – the offering is pretty much the same as the old insights, whilst combining the ‘hot searches’ feature into a more aesthetically pleasing design. Having looked around a bit more, I’ve noticed that you can toggle between regions in ‘hot searches’! However, its only for four nations:

Hot Topics for four regions within Google