Since 2004, Google Trends has offered an easy way to see what people are searching for across the world. Want to know how search traffic for Justin Bieber compares to Miley Cyrus? Google Trends can show historical charts tracking searches for both. Users can also explore hot searches by country or examine a trending report on a specific topic or brand.
“Without doing your own exploration on the Trends website, it can be tough to find the interesting—and sometimes surprising—topics the world is searching for,” said Google software engineer Gavri Smith on the company’s blog.
Google Trends email alerts make tracking those trending topics easier. Users are now able to subscribe to a particular topic and receive an email alert reporting search activity on that topic. Users can also sign up for Google Trends email alerts on the hottest searches in a country or any U.S. monthly Top Chart.
Google Trends is a particularly useful aid in developing a coherent content strategy. Marketers can use Google Trends’ wealth of information to better understand what people are searching for and generate new content marketing ideas.
Google Trends also lends insight into how content or media coverage translates into searches. When using Google Trends to graph searches on a specific topic, such as a brand, the user can see when media coverage correlated with a spike or drop in searches.
This enhancement may signal changes elsewhere in Google’s services lineup, however: TechCrunch’s Sarah Perez noted that an improved Google Trends feature may lend credence to rumors that Google Alerts will eventually be shuttered. Google Alerts notifies users on updates for specific Google results, and this new-and-improved Trends feature has only fueled speculation that Alerts will be shut down just as Google Reader was in 2013.
But for the moment, marketers simply have a new feature to explore with Google Trends, where the option to subscribe to email alerts will make monitoring popular searches more convenient. By building Google Trends email alerts into a content amplification strategy, marketers have a powerful search engine optimization tool to enhance the visibility of their site.