Google Unveils Crystal Ball

Aug. 19, 2009 | by Gregory Lyons

crystal-ballWell not quite but it has added forecasting to its Insights for Search research tool.  The tool will now show you a 12 month forecast of what it expects the keyword volumes to look like over the next year as well as past historic trends for the keyword.  This can be quite useful if you want to look at what the seasonality will likely look like over the next 12 months for a given area/keyword as well as whether that space is likely going to grow, shrink or stay the same.  Where this tool falls over is where there is no easily discernable pattern, where the pattern has changed recently or the search volumes are too low to show a pattern.

The graph below shows historic search trends for ‘Hotels’ within the UK.  It has a nice simple pattern that repeats every year, with a high in January and August of each year, a smooth bowl like curve between and a sharp drop off at the end of the year.  You can see that Google have extrapolated this pattern out over the next 12 months on the right of the graph.  They have also taken into consideration that each year search for ‘Hotels’ as a proportion of web search is decreasing and have reflected this in their forecast.

hotels

However if we try to look at what ‘car insurance’ search will look like in 2010 Google only presents us with historic data but no forecast.  This is likely because in 2009 car insurance bucked the previous trend of holding flat for the first half of the year, peaking in summer and then falling off in winter.  Instead in 2009 we have seen a steady and continued rise in car insurance search which does not match the patterns of previous years, making it difficult for Google to easily predict what 2010 will look like.

car-insurance

Unfortunately this crystal ball doesn’t help with the things we’d really like predicting such as stock prices or next weeks lottery results (but maybe that’s next on the big G’s list).

lottery-results

Big thanks to Sam for spotting this update.

Image credit: LeafsForLife

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    • Predict the future with Google Insight Predictions | AUKSEO - Blog from a Search Engine Optimiser based the UK

      [...] - Categories: Google, Tools - Tags: google insight Something I’ve read this morning on the icrossing blog is that Google Insight tool is now showing predictions on some search terms. By looking at previous [...]Aug 20, 2009 09:55 am

     
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