Google Trends

Today I am writing because the internet is rife with ways to waste your time and I want to make sure you are abreast of one of the latest from Google: it is Google Trends. View the approximate waxing and waning of a subject’s celebrity by searching Google’s history. This new, meta-search engine will spit back a timeline, label a few of the peaks, and report the geographies where the keywords were most popular, and in which languages. [This feature is normalized, of course.]

Use the comma (,) to compare the popularity of two or more items against one another. For instance, you might want to check out the Yankees versus the Red Sox. Do so by typing “Yankees, Red Sox” into the search box. Use the pipe (|) as a logical “or,” as in “this | that“; and a minus sign (-) to exclude words. Maybe you’re looking for “(-intelligent) design.”

Google Trends Yankees, Red Sox

I like to look for obvious spikes jutting out of periods of relative nonactivity. For Susannah, here’s a search for Lawrence Summers. I think ones that are cyclical, unlike the GRE and MCAT themselves, are fun, too.

According to the terms of use, I can’t use any of the Google Trends graphics for commercial use. So please, for my sake, do not buy anything on account of this post.

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