Unofficially obsessed with Google.


Google Trends is your personal Zeitgeist

12/21/2005 12:38:00 PM
Deftly capitalizing on the hype and press of its release of the 2005 Zeitgeist yesterday, Google today sedately announced on its blog that it is providing a diluted version of these Zeitgeist stats for individual users. Log into your personal search in Google, then click Trends in the sidebar.



You can view your top queries and clicks as well as monthly, daily, and hourly search summaries. Top 3 searches for these increments are also available. There is also a feeble Amazonian mentioning of queries that people with similar searching habits have searched.



Clearly, my suspicions that I am an insomniacal Internet user are confirmed!

I was surprised to see that my top 2 searches are related to the MTA in NYC (subway and Metro-North schedules), which means I should probably bookmark those pages rather than search for them so frequently! I was a bit confused to see Six Apart as my "top site" as I rarely visit the domain. I do a great deal of publishing on Movable Type, however, so predict that this is the link. (Although none of my MT activity is redirected from a Google search or other aspect of the Google domain...) Strangely, I did not see the site that I use every day in my work mentioned anywhere in these lists, as if it's been discounted for being so incredibly pervasive in my activity. (Again, I don't often view that site as a direct link off of Google, so perhaps that is explanatory in some way as well...)

Disappointingly, these stats are still rather void of numerical usefulness. For instance, the top ten lists are not labeled as "top ten for the month" or "top ten for the day," so I have no relative idea of what these superlatives represent. I would also like to see my average number of hits on Google per day (just how many searches do I usually conduct) and the average amount of time I spend on the Google domain. I am left to assume that the numbers capping the bars on the graphs represent "number of searches," but I have no hint as to whether this accounts for multiple searches for the same term or dozens of hits on the search pages for a single term.

Interestingly, and as one might have suspected, Google has been collecting this information for nearly as long as it has offered personalized search (perhaps longer). Query information is available for review back to August (in my Trends summary, yours may be more or less inclusive).

Lastly, this is only useful so long as users are signed into their Google accounts during search activities. I sign in and out of several Google accounts per day (to check my Gmail addresses), and so my personalized search information is dispersed across several accounts and/or not recorded in the event that I have signed out of all of my accounts. I will give Google tremendous credit for giving me one of the most effective encouragements yet to remain logged into my Google account. These trends, as elemental as they are, still hold quite a bit of interest for me as a frequent searcher. I will definitely be revisiting and crossing my fingers for updated analysis. I'm hoping for a summary utility combining the ease of use of Site Meter and the query information of past years of the Google Zeitgeist.

Link to another searcher's revelations: "Things I've Learned from Google Trends" by Brian Vargas.

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