Google Trends often has features that highlight popular topics and related searches about them. Besides all the political stuff that we often want to forget about (you can write about those if you want), trending pop culture stuff is always a lot of fun to watch trending. What's more pop culture than Star Wars? I love Star Wars. You know you love Star Wars. Even if you don't, it's still fun to see what the world is asking about the hottest movie in the history of ever.
So, Google, give us some insights!
According to Google, the top searched Star Wars characters are Darth Vader, Princess Leia, Chewbacca, Luke Skywalker, and R2-D2. These names are completely expected, as is the overwhelming popularity of Darth Vader. Nothing unexpected here.
Yeah, Halloween is technically over but you know that plenty of people are still going to dress up to go see "The Force Awakens!" None of these costume choices are surprising, either.
What order should I watch "Star Wars?" Watch A New Hope, Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi. Pretend the other three don't exist. You don't have to see the prequels to get "The Force Awakens" anyway. As for "who is Kylo Ren" and "Who is Finn," I have no idea. I don't care much for film spoilers. I like to go in fresh as possible. Good questions, though, Google search community!
Wow, that World of Warcraft movie is trying to steal Star Wars' thunder! I'm probably not running out to see the WoW movie myself, but the demographic makes sense. As for the Japanese Star Wars trailer, Japanese is awesome.
Finally some really interesting data! That's right, Hungary has the highest search interest of any country in the world! Australia is a close second. I didn't know Hungarians were such huge Star Wars fans. Apparently, they are. They even have special awesome posters!
And the top US Metro searching for Star Wars is... Salt Lake City, Utah? OK, Disney, you know where to spend your marketing dollars when it comes to upcoming Star Wars films!
All quipping aside, how useful are these sorts of features when it comes to trending topics? Honestly, I find the country and metro stuff the most interesting. This is very public information, so it's not like you have to be some crazy data miner to find this stuff out. It is cool to see what the interest is from place to place, though.
The trending searches are useful for knowing what topics to write about most if you're covering "The Force Awakens" hype. And it's good to know what the top characters and costumes are, as these are going to bring you the most traffic if you discuss these particular topics.
So I think these Google Trends features are cool, especially if you want to play some Twitter Trivia, or whatever it is these kids are playing these days.
by Richard Rowell, Article Writer for Hire
With the NBA preseason well underway, it seemed appropriate to make a related “Fun with Google Correlate” article. Well, the ordinary weekly and monthly correlations didn’t turn up anything fun. So I decided to go local with the “Compare US States” option, which I haven’t yet explored on this series. I finally picked the Denver Nuggets as my data set, as I currently live near Denver, Colorado. The results were… interesting, if a bit underwhelming for entertainment purposes...
As you may expect, most searches for the Denver Nuggets occur in Colorado and Wyoming. Therefore, the correlations are extremely strong. The first few make plenty of sense. Actually, the only ones that stand out to me are the ones that I want to talk about.
“Mon Chalet” is an adult nightlife club in Aurora, CO. It’s apparently quite a well-known swingers club in the Denver Metro area. While I highly doubt the Nuggets will go about choosing them as their official Nightlife partner, it’s interesting data. Likewise, the search phrase “Denver strip” says plenty about what type of venue people prefer as their Nuggets game after-party.
“Colorado horse” is an interesting search phrase that obviously appears incomplete. It could refer to a bunch of things, but I’m assuming it would be horse racing in this particular case. Colorado is definitely known for horses, in any case.
The last particularly interesting search phrase of note is “Greeley Colorado.” Greeley is best known for a couple of things. It was originally founded as a utopian experiment colony in 1869 and called the Union Colony. Eventually, it just became a city of 100,000. The other major historical note about Greeley is that it was once the site of two POW (Prisoner of War) camps during World War II, one for Germans and one for Italians. It’s also the home of the University of Northern Colorado.
I’ll be honest. I didn’t know anything about Greeley until this Google Correlate exercise. The things you learn from keyword research.
While these aren’t the most exciting conclusions, it does show how these local correlations can be particularly useful. If you’re writing about the Nuggets, maybe it’s not such a bad idea to write a piece here and there about the local nightlife - there’s a ton of it. And why not educate people on Greeley, CO while you’re at it? The city seems to have a pretty interesting history, as do many things in Colorado for that matter.
Any terms you’d like me to analyze using Google Correlate? Let me know in the comments or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You never know what gems you may uncover.
After discovering some decent niche search terms for Boston Red Sox bloggers and some revealing (or not) hints about Major League Baseball's demographics, I figured I'd look at the NFL for similar edification and amusement. Alas, I didn't find much, certainly not enough worth writing about. However, in turning to examining my other major article writing niche, the mega popular trading card game Magic the Gathering, through the Correlate lens, there's some interesting data we have to look at. Some of it makes sense. Some of it doesn't.
Some of this is downright bizarre. We have to break this down.
“Discount auto parts”
Here's some useful info. Apparently, most people searching Magic the Gathering also have cars that they need to repair and on the cheap. Gotta be able to drive to those game stores and other tournament venues.
Come to think of it, I've seen a good number of Magic players wear trucker hats. There's a market for these and baseball caps for magic players. This is another good data point.
“Google search bar”
I'll admit that there are so many cards, decks, and cool combos in Magic the Gathering that I find myself using Web search quite a bit. Apparently, some Magic players feel it's necessary to add a Google search bar to their browser despite most browsers already having one built in already. What this does tell us though is that Magic players make a ton of searches and want to do so as quickly and efficiently as possible.
“Duelist of the Roses” and “Dark Duel Stories”
As someone who used to play a ton of the Yu-Gi-Oh! trading card game, I can tell you a bit about these games. I didn't particularly care for the Playstation 2 game Duelist of the Roses. However Dark Duel Stories for the Game Boy Color was an awesome game. Sure, it didn't always conform to the rules of the actual card game but it integrated some of the goofy mechanics that were featured on the anime version of the game. I personally preferred Eternal Duelist Soul for the Game Boy Advance, but I get the appeal of these two games for trading card game lovers.
These are pretty interesting data points, in particular. Many Magic players played Yu-Gi-Oh before getting into gathering the magic. It also reminds me that Wizards of the Coast, parent company of Magic, really needs to put out video games that actually reach the level of playability and fun that the Yu-Gi-Oh ones have. People still play those older games as these search terms show. Magic Duels, Wizards’ latest video game effort, has had some serious issues and requires a lot of micro-transactions to build any decent decks. Yu-Gi-Oh games were always self-contained and you could often get cards you actually owned by inputting pass codes that were actually printed on the cards. Konami had Wizards beat there. Something to think about.
“Legacy of Goku” and “Legacy of Goku 2”
These classic DragonBall Z games for the Game Boy Advance were never ones I played a lot, but they still have a good following. A bit of a trivial data point, but still an interesting one as far as demographic info is concerned.
I'll go out on a limb and assume the Fairyland correlation here is for the French symphonic power metal band. Most likely it's not this www.fairylandgame.com - although that looks cute if you have kids and are looking for a fun, safe game for them to play (I don’t really know, I haven’t tried it - yet).
Again, I'll assume this correlation is for the Guitarist from the Japanese band Dir En Grey. I’m not familiar with his music, but it’s another interesting data point.
“Mitsubishi Galant” and “Montero Sport”
When I think of Magic players, I don't really think of them driving Mitsubishi Galants and Montero Sports. But they have to be getting the discount auto parts for something, right?
This term probably refers to the Ping S56 irons for golf. I doubt it's the chainsaw chain or hazardous material.
Searching the Monthly correlations turns up a couple more gems.
“Go kart kits“
A lot of Magic players are hobbyists, so building go karts is one that makes sense. This isn't really weird, just interesting.
Apparently, there are a bunch of aspiring independent insurance agents playing Magic. That's one way to fuel what can be an extremely expensive hobby. Or players are looking to take out insurance policies on their vast collections. I’m not sure which...
Multiband is a communications company. Apparently a lot of Multiband customers and or employees play Magic the Gathering. Or they're the unofficial provider of directTV for Magic the Gathering enthusiasts. This is definitely an odd correlation.
“Bureau of automotive repair”
This is primarily a California thing, so obviously tons of Magic players live in California. One possibility this correlation offers is that a lot of car repair enthusiasts play Magic. The more likely scenario is that the owners of all those Mitsubishis are filing complaints and buying those discount auto parts to do over the repair work themselves. It all makes sense now.
So what have we learned about our average searcher of Magical Gatherings? We'll call them Steve and Stephanie.
Dream job: Independent insurance agent
Entertainment provider of choice: DirectTV (preferably through Multiband)
Favorite fashion accessory: Trucker hats
Favorite nostalgic video games: Yu-Gi-Oh! Dark Duel Stories for Game Boy Color, Yu-Gi-Oh! Duelist of the Roses for PS2, DragonBall Z Legacy of Goku and Legacy of Goku 2 for Game Boy Advance.
Favorite pastimes besides Magic: Building go karts, Car repair, Golf
Favorite search engine tool: Google search bar
First world problem in common: Filing complaints with the California bureau of auto repair
Golf club of choice: Ping S56 iron
Music of choice: Dir en Grey and Fairyland
Vehicles of choice: Mitsubishi Galant and Montero sport
How useful is all this information? Besides the video games and musical choices providing somewhat useful demographic info, the rest can be used as you see fit. For my purposes, that's amusement.
Any search terms you'd like me to run through Google Correlate and get my analysis? Warning some will be far more boring than others. If it’s fun enough, I’ll make a whole article about it. If not, I’ll be sure to let you know what interesting things you can get out of the data.
Google Correlate is a fantastic data mining tool for businesses and major organizations to track search trends around their products, services, or causes. But it’s also a fun tool for article writers and bloggers as a way to get topic ideas and to get a pulse on what those searching for their niche are most often interested in. Lots of times this data is pretty straightforward. Let’s take a look, for example, at my hometown baseball team, the Boston Red Sox, through the lens of Correlate.
As you can see, these searches are ones you’d expect to correlate with those searching for the Boston Red Sox on google. There’s nothing particularly out of the ordinary here, except that if you run a Red Sox blog, you should be producing content on occasion about “Red Sox T Shirts” (86.9 percent correlation). Sox fans love their t-shirts. If you need a revenue stream for your blog, it would be a great idea to aim your affiliate programs that way.
However, if we expand the search to monthly time series, we get far more interesting results.
This is more like it! Now we’re finding some interesting niches here. “Live Red Sox” (89.2% correlation) seems to hint at people searching for places to stream Red Sox games live or get live updates. This niche is pretty well covered already by NESN’s Red Sox Gameday Live and Masslive. If you like to provide real-time game updates on your blog, there’s a bit of interest in it. But it’s not a huge search term (average 20 searches a month), but it’s better when the team is actually doing well (which it’s not in 2015).
“Red Sox bar” is an interesting term and a good one. People like to go to the bar and watch the game, and it turns out there are Red Sox bars all over the US. It’s not a mega popular search term (average 50 monthly searches), but it’s higher during the season. This seems to be a good niche for Red Sox bloggers to write about.
“2004 Red Sox” is a particular interesting term. Turns out even after 11 years, the first Sox championship in 86 years still gets a lot of interest. It gets over 1000 monthly searches on average. The nostalgia is still strong, and it’s probably not a bad idea for Sox bloggers to tap into the good memories once in awhile, especially when the team has struggled as it has for the past couple of years.
Lastly, “love that dirty water” refers to the Standells song, “Dirty Water,” which is played at Fenway Park when the Sox win. It’s funny because the 1960’s song actually mocks Boston and how polluted Boston Harbor and the Charles River were at the time. But Red Sox fans have made it an anthem now. There are probably some topics to be written about the connections between Dirty Water and the Red Sox, but there’s already a good article in the Boston Globe about it.
So there’s some useful data here. What if we expand our search to Major League Baseball as a whole?
There are a few things to discuss here. First of all, it would appear that the Yankees and Cardinals seem to get the most search traffic over time. Right now, Royals Baseball is blowing them away, predictably, as they’re continuing to shock the baseball world by running away with their division. But the Yankees and Cardinals are clearly always the “safe” choices.
It’s also little surprise to see things like “baseball terminology,” “baseball trivia,” and “baseball history” among the top correlations. But there are some weird things here.
First of all “insects” and “identification” are in here. I was never aware that the average Major League Baseball fan was also an aficionado for insect identification. Apparently, baseball fans like to join rowing clubs, too. And enjoying ultimate frisbee and baseball would seem to go hand in hand.
I jest, but it gets even weirder when you get to the monthly correlations.
White cedar? Purple Ash? Franklinia? And Clerodendrum? So apparently Major League Baseball fans are tree and plant lovers as well. Apparently, the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia are also MLB fans’ #1 choice for a vacation destination. Yes people love to take road trips to visit their favorite MLB ballparks. But these correlations are extremely strange. If you look at the charts, you’ll see it’s no fluke.
OK, here’s what sense I make of this. Rowing clubs would seem to have a similar amount of interest at the same time of year that baseball season is in full swing, although interest in rowing clubs seems to be declining somewhat in relation to baseball. The best times to be poking around to find cool insects and observe beautiful flora (especially in the Blue Ridge Mountains) would seem to coincide, as well. To add to this mess, concrete mixing is yet another correlation not too much farther down the list. What does this all mean?
This seems all pretty silly, but what it does is show us that many MLB fans have a great appreciation for nature (and concrete mixing). That’s pretty cool information, actually. (Even concrete mixing makes sense - the months of the baseball season are the best times to mix concrete.) Thanks, Google Correlate! So now we know some things we didn’t know before about the average MLB fan!
Joe & Jane Average
Favorite Baseball Teams: New York Yankees and St. Louis Cardinals
Favorite Flower: Clerodendrum
Favorite Hobbies: Insect Identification and Rowing Clubs
Favorite Trees: White Cedar, Purple Ash, Franklin Tree
Take note, MLB - this is important demographic information!
Oh what fun can we have next? What about the NFL? It can’t get any sillier, can it?
by Richard Rowell, Write W.A.V.E. Media Staff
A lot of people like to ask Google questions. Many are rather simple questions, such as: "What is the best scientific calculator?" or “What is the best way to remodel a kitchen?" If you begin to type a question into Google, the search engine's auto complete feature will often help you complete your thought. This means that other people have inputted this query into Google before.
They Have Questions, Do You Have Answers?
Interestingly enough, you may not always find quite exactly the answer to your question. Google is certainly getting better at answering certain questions, especially when it comes to products such as the aforementioned scientific calculators. But for the more general things like the kitchen remodeling question, you get sites that Google finds relevant to your question, but not necessarily giving you quite the answer you desire. You'll get articles related to what you're looking for, but nothing that directly answers said question.
It turns out that the phrase "best way to remodel a kitchen" gets about 50 monthly searches in the United State alone. Yet, no one has yet built around this phrase in an article. It naturally fits into how someone would ask that question, so why hasn't anyone done it? Content marketing experts always talk about the "long tail" keyword strategy all of the time. But it seems that many have overlooked the simplest thing: answering people’s questions.
Chasing the Long Tail Keywords
If you're struggling to find something to write about, think about what your target audience might be asking. If you're writing about yarn, for example, you don't necessarily want to just build a list of three or four word phrases concerning yarn without first thinking about what sort of questions yarn enthusiasts may ask. This is where Google Auto Complete is especially useful. Type something like "What type of yarn is used for A" and see what sort of suggestions come up. Then try "What type of yarn is used for B" and note those suggestions. If you take note of enough of these, it will uncover keywords you may not have thought of before.
Granted, answer sites like Askville on Amazon, Yahoo Answers, and others have many of these questions covered. They can actually provide you with a great research tool for additional content. So if you feel that those answers that Google provides in the search results are lacking, it's perfectly okay to go ahead and produce some content with the headline that includes the very question that one would type into Google. You would proceed with a keyword strategy like normal, but you would build your content around that question. The more specific your phrase, the more likely it is you will have highly targeted traffic.
A Tool to Help Speed Up Checking Google Auto Complete for Search Phrases
One useful free tool that you can use to help chase long-tail keyword phrases is Keywordtool.io. Their free version scrapes Google Auto-Complete for you, and while it will only give you the top few results, it can save you a bit of time manually checking auto complete. It doesn’t give you the search traffic for free, either. At the very least, it will give you a few ideas to start with when researching long-tail queries. It also allows you to scrape the auto-complete features of YouTube and Bing, as well, for additional ideas.
There’s a paid version that gives you search volume and other information, but it’s rather expensive per month. I’d recommend only paying for the Pro version if you’re looking to scrape for potential good phrases to cover with pay-per-click advertising. For the typical article writer, the free version should suffice. The time it can save you is definitely significant.
So whenever you're stuck for some content, never fear! Google Auto Complete will make the questions people are asking appear! Then you can go about answering them, leading to lots of new and qualified search traffic to your site!
Lyn Lomasi & Richard Rowell are life & business partners. Owners of the Write W.A.V.E. Media network, they are your content superheroes to the rescue! Running their network, tackling deadlines single handedly, and coaching fellow writers & entrepreneurs to be thought leaders is their top priority. While rescuing civilians from boring content and marketing, they conquer the world, living the RV life and making Crafts For A Purpose with their awesomely crazy family while recounting The Nova Skye Story, along with Kymani’s Travels. They also strive to one day cuddle with lions and giraffes. Until then, they’ll settle for furry rescue kitties and doggies.
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