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Google Insights

August 18, 2009

I don’t exactly live under a rock, particularly when it comes to Google services. I use gmail, Google Docs, Calendar, Analytics (on various sites), etc., and I also administer a Google Search Appliance for my American employer. Heck, I even discovered a bug in the mail app on my Google-employed brother-in-law’s Android phone (i.e.- I broke the mail app). It surprised me then, that I just ran across Google Insights today, even though it was launched over a year ago.

Insights is something akin to the old Google Zeitgeist page (which now points to Insights, as well as their other tracking tools Trends, Trends for Websites, and Hot Trends), only instead of just seeing lists of the hottest searches, I can now enter terms and see how they fare over time and against other terms. Here’s a visual example from a query comparing library (blue) and walmart (red):

library v. walmart

library v. walmart

As with so many Google tools, I wonder when/how they will monetize such a tool. Given that their analysis tools are progressively improving, it can only be a matter of time before they offer enterprise-level solutions while perhaps still giving it away for free to the little people.

Not sure what to make of what Insights is telling me, to be honest, given variant spellings and the vagaries of how Google searches using stems and such. Still, good fun, and true to the name, certain truths do emerge if one digs a bit.


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