Friday, June 19, 2015

Using Google Trends to Get Fresh Ideas for Articles and Blog Posts

If you are racking your brain trying to think of fresh ideas for blogs or articles, take a look at the newly expanded Google Trends page.  You may see something there that will spark new ideas, especially if you want to write on subjects that are both popular and timely.

The Google Trends page has been around for a while, but the company says that this week's expansion is the biggest change since 2012.

Google Trends now combines data from Google, YouTube, and Google news searches to give a more comprehensive picture of what people are searching for on the web.  The focus is on spikes in search volume, not on sheer volume alone, to prevent topics that generate a steady high volume from dominating the list all of the time.

Information is presented in real time. You can drill down on each trending item to find trending queries, most relevant articles, and related topics. The information is easy to take in at a glance, thanks to large type, a clear layout, and well-designed graphics.

I think the "related topics" feature may be especially useful for brainstorming ideas because it seems to mimic the way our creative brains work when they jump from one topic to another.

The page also has a search bar, which is helpful if you are already have a general sense of the subject matter you want to write about. As an experiment, I searched for "content marketing" to see if the search results would spark any ideas for topics I could write about on this blog. The results page had a graph showing that interest in content marketing was low until 2011. Then it took off and has been increasing ever since:

The results page also listed the most popular search queries. The second on the list was "what is content." Bingo! That's a great topic for a blog post.

This looks like a promising tool for easier and more productive brainstorming. Try it, and see if you agree.

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