Thursday, May 7, 2009

Google Trends on your website

One thing we've noticed here at Google over the years is that the more popular something becomes, the more people search for it online. Our annual zeitgeist catalogs some of the more interesting trends we've seen in a year's worth of web search data. We also like to keep our eye out for more timely events, such as the U.S. presidential inauguration.

As we head into the last month of this season's "American Idol," we thought this would be a good opportunity to introduce our new embeddable Google Trends gadget to track your favorite trends, right on your own website. It's as easy as "cut and paste" to showcase the rising popularity of your own idols, even if they're not on a hit television show. You get to choose which trends you want to track.

I've been using Google Trends to follow my favorite "Idol" contestants for the past three years. It all started in 2006 when I was a Chris Daughtry fan. Looking at the search trends I could tell I wasn't the only one, and I felt pretty good about the odds that Chris was going to fare well against the other contestants.

Going into the final four, Chris had a lead on Elliott Yamin, and I was pretty confident he'd advance. But over the week leading up to the performance, Chris' lead began to diminish. Despite his early lead, Chris ended up getting eliminated. I was totally bummed, but wasn't all too surprised given that they were neck and neck on Trends days before elimination night.

Fast-forward to 2008. I was rooting for David Cook, and after each performance I'd check so see how he was doing on Trends.

I was excited to see him getting more and more popular each week, and each week I could rest a little easier when I found out that David was more popular than the other contestants. David ended up walking away with the crown that year, and I had finally picked a winner!

This year, I had the good fortune of attending an "American Idol" show in person. Not really knowing what to expect, I was completely blown away by the evening's final performance: Adam Lambert's rendition of the Tears for Fears song "Mad World." I could literally feel the building move under my feet from his powerful vocals and the roar of the crowd. Since then I have been an Adam fan all the way. And just when I thought that Allison Iraheta was closing in, Adam raised the bar yet again with his rockin' performance of Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love." Let's see what Google Trends has to say about Adam this week. And if after last night's show you're worried that your favorite "Idol" had a bad night and might not make it to the next round, see if you can glean some insights from the search trends.


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