Google Search Insights: A Look At Social Media Trends

Google recently launched an insight tool for search trends. It’s a like a revved up version of Google Trends and offers a deeper level of analysis of search trends with the ability to compare volume patterns across regions, categories and time.

Really neat stuff and huge applications for web entreprenuers, bloggers and businesses across the nation. Be sure to check out the utility and experiment around a bit – I was able to get some useful metrics almost instantly.

What I thought would be fun, since the tool is relatively new, would be to look at a few trends in social media that you might find interesting:

From Google (note: The numbers on the first graph reflect how many searches have been done for a particular term, relative to the total number of searches done on Google over time. They don’t represent absolute search volume numbers, because the data is normalized and presented on a scale from 0-100; each point on the graph is divided by the highest point, or 100. The numbers next to the search terms above the graph are summaries, or totals.)

Clearly Digg is the dominant player in the search trend atmosphere. This is due to the whole culture surrounding Digg, their massive branding campaigns and huge word of mouth buzz spread by the network and its users – their town halls and massive gatherings are unique to the network.  Slashdot and Reddit users probably have LAN parties, but certainly that’s not as glamorous as Kevin and Alex on stage.

Let’s look at the site traffic for these communities and see how it parrellels the search trend traffic:

Certainly there is a pattern between search volume and traffic levels. If you didn’t already, go over to the insight tool and check it out for yourself (you’ll need a Google account to get numbers, otherwise they just give you “low, medium, high” as your results).

Related: check out the global popularity of the different major social networks – Facebook, MySpace, etc – here. Also, check out Andrew Chen’s interesting results from using the tool here.