What happened to Google Insights for Search? Introducing the new Google Trends…

Oct. 04, 2012 | by Luke Smith

On Thursday 27th September, Google released an update to their popular search tool, Google Trends. The official announcement  on the ‘Inside Search’ blog stated that this release was not only an update from the previous version, but would also replace their similar, more comprehensive tool, Google Insights for Search (commonly referred to as Google Insights).

What’s Google Insights for Search?

Google Insights for Search was initially introduced in August 2008 as an expanded alternative to Google Trends. This offered similar functionality, with various extra features, giving users the ability to filter by categories, compare time ranges, and view related keywords etc.

Google Insights soon established itself as an industry standard with search marketers worldwide, given its extra level of detail and functionality, while Google Trends always remained the more popular with the general public, given its simplicity and accessibility. This can be seen in the graph below, showing the search popularity of Google Trends vs. Insights.

Despite the difference in target audience, the tools have always remained fundamentally similar, indicating the reason Google has decided to consolidate the two. Now, with the departure of Google Insights, the latest update of Google Trends attains the best of both worlds with a simple, user-friendly interface, whilst also adding the full functionality of Google Insights, including the following:

Top 10 key features of the new Google Trends

  • Comparison of time ranges
  • Category filtering (for keywords which relate to multiple industries)
  • 12 month forecast, extrapolated from historical trends
  • CSV download (for logged in users)
  • Hot searches (including ‘rising’ and ‘breakout’ search terms)
  • News story annotations
  • Regional interest (by Region or City)
  • ‘Change over time’ visualisation
  • Google Image, News and Product search data
  • Embed codes

What’s new?

Alongside the various features adapted and migrated from Insights for Search, the most interesting new feature is that, given its HTML5 build, it is now accessible from mobile devices for the first time. This is fully compatible with all features of the tool, even including the ‘change over time’ visualisation. Whilst this might not be necessary for general day to day use, it should appeal to those who need access to search trends on the move, perhaps commuters and regular tablet users etc.

Other new features include a redesigned homepage interface, featuring notable hot searches across the web, with top related news stories, in a similar format to Google’s recent semantic Knowledge Graph feature within the main SERPs.

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    Comments (5)

    • Luke Smith

      Hmm, it looks like they have a new layout to the homepage, but upon searching, the graph still appears as usual. Are you still having this problem? Thanks, LukeJun 10, 2013 11:24 am

    • Purna Chandra Swain

      Hi there,

      Google Trends isn't working, a blank page is displayed as a result of any keyword search showing only 3 links in left pane as Hot Searchs, Top Charts New! and Explore. No graph chart, no text nothing but just a blank page under Explore tab. Please, help me any helping mind if there - Purna Chandra Swain, SEO, India.Jun 8, 2013 05:57 pm

    • Google Trends Excel Template: Convert Weekly Data to Monthly - iCrossing

      [...] the search interest of any keyword on a relative scale over time. The tool is extremely useful and powerful, as the data can be filtered by dimensions such as region or [...]Apr 18, 2013 11:43 am

    • Mx

      Where is Insights? Is it replaced with Trends??Dec 21, 2012 03:01 pm

    • Warren

      As with anything Google, it starts off better than it finishes.

      Google Giveth and Google Taketh Away.Oct 15, 2012 07:20 am

     
    Please note: the opinions expressed in this post represent the views of the individual, not necessarily those of iCrossing.

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