Google Trends and the Presidential Election

Posted on November 14, 2012

The 2012 election is now at its end and Google Trends captured a funny little snippet of information regarding web searches: the spike in the search phrase "who is running for president."

Google Trends is an interesting and useful tool to help you monitor the historic trends of any of your keywords. As you can see from the graph below, the search term "who is running for president" gets virtually no traffic when there are no elections in the near future. Then, as an election year approaches, we start to see an increase in traffic for the search terms, likely as the parties are still deciding who their candidate will be. Then, as the actual election approaches, we see another surge in traffic as those last minute researchers want to find out more about the candidates.

You can use this tool for any of your search terms to help you identify the popularity of your keywords, to leverage opportunities, and even just have fun learning more about search traffic. For example, here are some interesting Google Trends we have found:

Toss some of your popular keywords into Google Trends and see which way they are moving. Several of our clients have long been focusing on keywords that have been on the decline, and Google Trends helped us identify the trend and assist in finding comparable keywords that were gaining momentum. For example, look at this graph of the search terms cell phones, smart phones, and tablets. As you can see, "cell phones" searches have generally been on the decline for nearly a decade. Searches for "smart phones" have been slowly increasing for the past several years. "Tablets" have taken off in the search world though, far surpassing both of the other phrases. If you were an electronics retailer, you might want to adjust some of your keywords to capitalize on these movements.

There are dozens of marketing tools that you should monitor to gauge your online presence. Google Trends is just one of those tools. By utilizing it with the surplus of other tools available, you should be able to get a firm grasp of how you are performing online.

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