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Wednesday, June 08, 2011

O2 MONEY > Great New Search Tool: Google Correlate

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...

by Daniel Ruby | Research Director, Online Insights in Web Technology


Google Correlate allows users to chart how often a word or phrase is searched over time, and then show what other words or phrases have a similar usage pattern. For example, searching for the phrase “Online Advertising” gives this result:





So actionscript, commercial construction, and interactive agency are the three searches that correlate with online advertising. Does it mean they’re related? Not necessarily, it just means they see increases and decreases in search activity at about the same time as the original query.
This tool can be incredibly useful for web publishers. If, for example, you find that you’re getting tons of traffic from a particular keyword, you can punch it into Correlate and see some other potential keywords that are seeing the same effect. They may be about the same subject, which would give you a great SEO keyword target, or they may help you find a different popular subject to write about. Either way, publishers can get a lot of good use out of the tool.
Another very interesting feature of this tool is the ability to draw a line graph and see the searches that correlate with it. For example, I was interested in seeing what kind of queries spiked a few years ago and declined steadily ever since. Here’s the graph I drew:

Google came up with results almost instantly, outputting a list of searches whose trends looked like that over the years:

Interesting, isn’t it? Verizon online, pandalist, and dotproject top the list of correlated queries. Have you tried Google Correlate yet, and if so, what do you think? Any interesting results?
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