Google Trends is, without a doubt, one of the most valuable sources of open data on the internet.
It’s not a tool that’s exclusive to marketers. You’ll find many studies and research articles that were created thanks to this great resource. It was even used to identify an influenza outbreak two weeks before the CDC was able to. (We’ll get to this one in a short moment.)
So what is Google Trends?
Well, in this guide we’ll cover what Google Trends is (if you don’t know already) and we’ll get you familiar with the Google Search Trends interface and instantly find ways to implement it into your SEO and keyword research workflow.
So, let’s get into it!
A Brief History + Fun Facts
Google Trends initially launched in 2006. However, it still lets you to view data all the way back to 2004.
Google has built, shut down, and merged many different websites that used Google Search Trends data.
One of which was a “Trends for Websites” tool that allowed you to compare the search traffic of two different websites. It was kind of like the free Similar Web tool, however it made use of more concrete data. Like many cool Google products, it was unfortunately shut down.
Another was Google Flu Trends. It was a very insightful tool that did just what its name entailed — It let you view data on flu trends. It actually predicted the 2010 influenza outbreak (based on trends for common symptoms) 1 or 2 weeks before the CDC made an official announcement.
Here’s an interesting fun fact about Google Trends
From Bush/Kerry to Trump/Clinton, Google Trends has accurately predicted the victor every time since 2004.
Don’t believe me? Let’s take a look at the data:
George W. Bush vs. John Kerry
Barack Obama vs. John McCain
Barack Obama vs. Mitt Romney
Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton
In each of these tests, I searched for both their full names as well as last names. The results are quite clear.
Will Google Trends continue to predict the outcome of US elections accurately? Only time will tell.
How To Use Google Trends
First, there’s one important thing I should tell you before you dive in.
Google Trends does not provide search volume. That would be too useful, wouldn’t it?
Instead, they give you an arbitrary scale of 0–100. “0” represents a search terms lowest point of relevance. “100” represents its highest.
These values are entirely dynamic and change once you introduce multiple search terms. It then becomes relative to the popularity of the other search terms you provide.
By default, Google Trends makes use of data from their regular search results, but as you will learn shortly, you can also look at other sources.
Where The Data Comes From
Before we dive right in and learn how to use Google Trends, it’s important to know where the data comes from.
There are five different data sources for you to utilize.
It is worth noting that with web search you can view data from 2004 while the other sources only allow you to go back to 2008.
You can select your desired data source by clicking the following drop-down field:
Searching For Keywords
When you’re typing a search term, you’ll see different keyword types.
In the below example, there are a variety of grouped topics to choose from.
“bernie sanders (Search term)” would only include data based around that one particular keyword.
“Bernie Sanders (United States Senator)” would include not only the main keyword but others that might be related to it. Like “senator Sanders” or “was Sanders a good senator?”
Same goes for “Bernie Sanders (Election campaign)”. It would only include data for searches around his campaign.
I’d tread carefully with these grouped keywords. Why? Just take a look at some of the “related keywords” that popped up when I was browsing the “plumbing category”. You can say I don’t have too much confidence in Google accurately grouping and associating keywords.
Finding General Search Trends
A slightly “hidden” feature of Google Search Trends is the ability to view an industry’s general trends by removing all of your current search terms.
It’s just passed November in America so as you can see, as soon as I removed the search terms, the biggest trends happening were related to Thanksgiving and Black Friday.
Be a Pro, Use Search Operators
There are various search operators you could use to get more out of your data.
The first one is the plus operator. Simply connect as many terms as you like using plus signs to combine results. This is useful if you want to see the trend of multiple industries.
Another useful one is using double quotes in order to only include direct match results. As an example, check out the discrepancy between how to make bread and “how to make bread”.
If your search term is associated with another meaning, to avoid having skewed results you can use the minus operator.
As an example, let’s say I want to get a feel for the mattress industry. However, I want to exclude people that are only looking for mattress toppers. I can do so with the following.
Finding Different Spellings & Abbreviations
Now that I told you about search operators, it’s time to give you a common, practical use case.
Using the plus operator, you can account for different spellings, abbreviations, and punctuation of different terms.
Take the below image as an example.
First, I set the location to “Worldwide”. After that, I started adding different variations of two terms — SEO and PPC. The goal of this trivial example was to compare the worldwide popularity of SEO and PPC.
Embedding Trends Graph to a Website
The easiest way to embed a Google Trends graph is to click the little embed button after performing a search. It’ll give you a basic code snippet to add to your website’s HTML source.
Bare in mind that Google lets you export Google Trends search data. It’ll give you a CSV. With it, you can use any sort of charting software you like to visualize your data and display it on your website.
Finding Additional Features
Often ignored by most users, Google Trends has a sidebar where you can get access to additional features.
This tab operates much like trends on Twitter. In the default view, it will show you the top events in your home country. You could easily adjust the country and additionally show worldwide news if you like.
Year In Search
Google publishes reports every year on search trends. These are always interesting to take a look at. It’s a ton of fun to browse the previous “Year in Search” reports to see all of the oddball fads that were popular way back when.
The most useful additional tab of Google Trends definitely has to be Subscriptions. It’s quite similar to Google Alerts. You can sign up for email alerts based on a specific topic of your choice.
Finding Hot Niches & Blog Topics
So far, we’ve covered many tricks for using Google Trends search data efficiently. Now we can actually get into some practical uses.
Ok, so I lied to you. Google Trends isn’t that great of a discovery engine for new industries. In order to identify hot niches, we’re going to need the help of an additional tool.
To find industries, you need some sort of tool that allows you to seed ideas.
You could browse through trend/hobby related websites like Trend Hunter. You could go over to the forums. You could even endlessly browse Pinterest to keep finding new hobbies/industries.
But the trend seeding tool I am going to should you is redditmetrics.com. It lets you view the fastest growing communities on reddit.
Finding Seasonal Trends
Some products sell better at different times of the year. Below is an example that you likely would have guesses yourself.
“running shoes” and “winter jackets”. Running shoe popularity peaks at the same time that popularity for winter jackets die down. And vice versa.
A less obvious example is yoga. You’d imagine it would remain constant the entire year. Well, yoga appears to be one of those “new years resolution” niches. Just like gyms, everyone gets excited for the new year, starts going to classes, and then popularity dies down. Very useful information for anyone in this sector to know.
There’s a problem with search volumes in popular keyword research tools. They’re based on yearly averages!
Say a keyword gets 10 searches per month for 11 months out of the year. Then in the last month, it gets 1,000 searches.
A keyword research tool might only display an estimate of 92 searches per month. Way off!
Let’s see if we can create an estimate of how many searches a particular keyword will bring in during its hottest months.
We’ll investigate the term “Christmas stockings”. Here’s its Trends data for 2018:
The first step is to download the data. See that little download button in the above image? Click it to get a CSV.
Now you’ll have a sheet that looks like this.
It’s organized into weeks. We need it organized into months. To do that, all that’s needed is combine some data. After a bit of number wrangling you’ll have a nice sheet like this.
There we go! You’ll notice that I also have calculated percentages as well. This is key.
Now, we need to find the average monthly search volume. You can use any keyword research tool as you please. I choose Ahrefs.
Ahrefs shows that “Christmas stockings” gets searched 37,000 times a month.
Next, we multiple that number by 12 to get our yearly searches. 444,000.
All that’s left to do is find the monthly searches using our percentages and the yearly total, 444,000 number.
For example, we found December’s value by multiplying 444,000 with 0.3622 (36.22%).
And just like that, you’re now able to get an idea of the true monthly search volume during this search term’s peak.
160,814 is quite a difference from the initial 37,000, isn’t it?
Location-Based Keyword Trends
You want your marketing to be as effective as possible. Some areas of the country- or some areas of the world -are more interested in a product, service, or industry than others.
Take the Trends data for the traditional breakfast, grits. Most of the interest comes from south-eastern states.
And now how about “farm equipment”. No surprise that most of the interest comes from mid-western states as well as others where farming an important industry.
Keyword Trends For Local SEO
You can see what cities your service is most popular with a bit of location filtering.
Below, I took a look at the most popular cities around Phoenix, AZ for the term “plumbing”.
Google Trends For Olden Times
Google Trends goes back to 2004 and that’s great! However, what if we want MORE insight.
…Like insight from all the way back to the 1800s.
Well, you might think that’s impossible. No internet back then, right? That’s where books come in.
Google created a tool named Google Ngram Viewer. It’s great! Just enter one or more values and it will plot it on the chart for you.
Here’s a graph of the mentions of “brewing beer” over the last 200 or so years.
It’s also a useful way to discover literature of the past. If you’re working on a research project, it’s quite useful to see how something was viewed in the past.
Final Notes + Bonus Free Training
By now, you’ve learned all the ins and outs of Google Trends as well as some ways to accomplish your SEO goals with it. It’s an excellent tool that every marketer should have at the ready.
The last tip I wanted to mention is that Google offers some great beginner level training on Google Trends. Training will uncover some of the tips mentioned in this guide such as using search operators to find keywords with different spellings and punctuation.
All of Googles Confirmed Algorithm Updates, Now Listed in One Place
A Resource for Website Owners
May 2022, saw the first big Google Search Update for around 6 months. Those website owners and business owners who were caught unawares, were likely bit with a traffic decrease as the two week’s of the update dragged on.
Those who are more keenly aware of Google Algorithm Updates over the past few years, aware that there are often upto 6 or 7 updates a year, will have noted we haven’t had an update in a while — and this update was likely to be a ‘big boy’. (and so were prepared).
I have spoken at some length about the May 2022 update in my podcast, so I am not going to go over old ground here — but there was plenty to see and it was genuinely content focused in my view, though as a core update it will have impacted almost every part of the ranking algorithm in some form.
But with the first ‘big’ update of the year, the question on the lips of many website owners is ‘where can i find out more information about google updates’
Information About Google Updates for Website Owners
In reality there are very few sources about Google Updates aimed at website owners. Indeed, there isn’t many even for SEO experts either — we discuss the updates in forums and the use the data we have to understand impact and what is likely to be in the update.
However, there are now two sources you can go to to understand updates as a website owner — these are truly reliable sources:
Google Search Ranking Updates — a new section of their developer notes, which allows website owners and developers to understand a little about what is in the ‘confirmed’ updates. The key here is that these are only the confirmed (larger) updates and not the regular smaller updates we may see from week to week which are likely to have an impact on various industries or category of website.
Moz Google Update History — a hugely reliable history of Google Search Updates, without the jargon. Letting website owners understand both confirmed and unconfirmed updates as time goes by, this is often a week or so behind updates so beware of this. However, it will reference back to other updates if it believes it is an update or included.
Of course there are other great resources for finding detail on specific updates if you have been effected or you are just generally interested. Websites such as Search Engine Journal and Search Engine Roundtable offer invaluable information (as well as links to further information too).
Of course there is also a world of Podcasts too for SEO and Digital Marketing, including my own which you can get over on iTunes or Youtube.
SEO isn’t easy to get started with so we looked at what we would have love to have known as beginners – you joined in.
Top SEO Questions
What is SEO?
SEO stands for search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Optimization focuses on the minor modifications or even the large modifications you can do to your website to improve it, to increase the organic search traffic from the likes of Google, Bing, and other search engines around the world. SEO being modifications to your website because it’s generally quite technical, but it can be to do with your content.
It can be to do with links and it can be, when we talk about content, it can be do with to do with text, your images, your videos, but it can also be to do with content offsite. So if you are listening to this absolutely anywhere, That is SEO as well because if you look at the description, there’ll be a link back to a website, whether that’s the SEO Andy website or the actual podcast website.
(As an example) In terms of me promoting this podcast, I’ve linked to Apple Podcast Shop, Shopify, Spotify, audible, all the podcast networks, and. I’ve increased the SEO organic traffic to the podcast to promote it, and that is all seo. And of course, I’ve done lots of other stuff. So that is what SEO is. It’s to promote the organic search worth of a website.
What is the difference between Organic and Paid Search?
Now this is quite simple. Organic is free and paid. the adverts. Now the generally, the easiest way you used to be able to differentiate these is paid with the top few adverts at the top of search, and the three ones were just below that.
You used to see three or four paid, and then you’d see all three ones Now, Things have changed a little bit and you see some paid efforts at the bottom. However, Bing and Google generally mark the ads with a little sign that says, add next to it. Um, your shopping carousel generally is all ads these days.
It’s not always. but yeah, so if, if you pay for Google AdWord, that’s all paid search. The other key difference is that whilst. This will bring us onto the next question in a second. Whilst on your website you input things like metatags, you are not guaranteed to get that output on search engine results.
With paid search, you are generally guaranteed to get pretty much the advert you put in there, although there is some dynamic components or three or four different variants you can input. Now, let’s say you control that. , you’re pretty much guaranteed to get that. So that’s the difference. While it’s free, other than your time and effort of course, versus paid, which is your cost and your time and effort.
What are Meta Tags?
Metatags are things like. Meta title, the thing, the blue link that you see on Google is the best way to describe this, but you also see it in the top of your browser. So if you can visit a webpage and you see in the top of your browser, it’ll say the same.
Same as the blue link on Google and your meta description. That’s the sentence underneath the blue link. and those two generally will also get output on social media, um, unless you have what’s called an open graph tags, um, which are other meta tags where you can control distinctly things like the title and description for, Facebook and Twitter.
But if you don’t have those by default, it’ll go to the two meta tags that I’ve just described, the title. It’s just the description. You can also, um, use your featured image and control the featured image using the upper graph tags. Now, the reason these are important is that basically they’re your shop window to use and they.
Vastly increase your click through rate from search. So if a user has the right user search intent, they are more likely to click on your. website. So if they can see if they’re looking to buy a product and they can see that your pages of product from your title and your description, they are vastly more likely to click on your product than something that looks like it’s an academic paper.
And conversely, if they’re doing research into a, let’s. A series of products and to see what they do to the human body. They’re not really likely to click on your product if it’s a product because they want to see academic papers and studies, or they want to find other information about that kind of product. So you’ve got to understand user intent and what gets a conversion for your audience.
Yes, the metatags do still matter in 2023. Want to read more about this check out my recent article about it.
Do you need to know how to code, to take on SEO?
No. because if you use a CMS such as WordPress or Shopify, then everything’s built for you. And that’s even more the case with the X Works. The reality is, is these are platforms that have been built for starters.
SMEs who don’t want. Have the bother of hiring a developer at every single turn. And if you go out and hire an seo, then actually. Most of us will have had some developer experience, or we’ll be able to point you to someone who you can hire for an hour, two hours at a relatively low cost to fix a specific issue, such as I’ve several occasions come across where a WordPress template is an output in alt tags, even though you are putting it into the system.
So little things like that take absolutely no time to fix for a developer, but actually, If you haven’t got a developer on hand, it’s something that you just won’t be able to do yourself. So no, you don’t need to know how to code, but actually, if you hire someone, it’s relatively easy.
Picking the right podcast equipment can be a daunting task for a beginner, especially with the numerous options available in the market. In this article, we will provide a comprehensive guide to help you make an informed decision and select the right equipment for your podcast setup.
Microphone: A microphone is an essential piece of equipment for a podcast. A good microphone will make your audio quality clear, crisp, and professional-sounding. There are two main types of microphones – USB microphones and XLR microphones.
USB microphones are the simplest to use, plug and play and do not require additional equipment. They are also portable and can be used with a laptop or desktop computer. Examples of popular USB microphones include the Blue Yeti and the Rode NT-USB.n
XLR microphones are professional-grade microphones that require additional equipment like an audio interface and a mixer. They offer more versatility and better sound quality than USB microphones, but they can be more complex to set up. Examples of popular XLR microphones include the Shure SM7B and the Audio-Technica AT2035.
Audio Interface (XLR only): An audio interface is a device that connects your microphone to your computer and helps to improve the audio quality. If you are using an XLR microphone, you will need an audio interface to connect it to your computer. Audio interfaces typically have preamps, which help to boost the microphone signal, as well as additional inputs for other audio sources. Examples of popular audio interfaces include the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 and the PreSonus Studio 26c.
Mixer: A mixer is an optional piece of equipment that can be used to improve the audio quality of your podcast. A mixer can be used to adjust the levels of multiple audio sources, such as a microphone and music, and to add effects such as reverb or echo. Mixers also typically have preamps and can be used in place of an audio interface. Examples of popular mixers include the Mackie PROFX8v3 and the Behringer Xenyx X1204USB.
Headphones: Good headphones are essential for monitoring your audio during recording and editing. You want headphones that are comfortable to wear for long periods, have a flat frequency response to help you accurately assess your audio quality, and have enough isolation to prevent bleed into your microphone. Examples of popular headphones include the Sennheiser HD280 Pro and the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x.
Pop Filter: A pop filter is a device that helps to reduce plosives, the explosive sounds caused by speaking too close to the microphone. Pop filters attach to the microphone stand and can be made of foam or a metal mesh.
Microphone Stand: A microphone stand is necessary to hold your microphone in place during recording. There are various types of stands available, including tripod stands, boom arms, and desktop stands. The type of stand you choose will depend on your recording setup and personal preference.
Software: Finally, you will need software to record, edit, and publish your podcast. There are many free and paid options available, including Audacity (free), GarageBand (Mac only), and Adobe Audition (paid)…
In conclusion, these are the essential pieces of equipment for a beginner podcast setup. Remember, the key to great podcast audio is to invest in quality equipment. While you may be tempted to save money in the short term by buying low-cost equipment, in the long run, it will be worth it to invest in quality equipment that will produce better audio and make your podcast stand out.
Congratulations, you’ve reached the stage where you have recorded your first podcast and (hopefully) found hosting online for it. If you haven’t found Podcast Hosting yet, take a step back for a moment and take a look at our Guide to Podcast Hosting.
Podcast Directories are the rather antiquated name given to websites or platforms used to find and serve up your Podcast to users. Think Apple Podcast, Spotify and Amazon Music … as well as anywhere else you may want to be found.
What you may think is that you need to submit you podcast detail to 100’s of directories and platforms – I know that’s how I felt at the start of my journey. However, my ‘ultimate podcast directory’ is about making your journey to starting a podcast easy – Rather than submissions to 100’s, we want to use submissions to key directories which feed to small directories (and we will tell you who they are).
This means instead of spending 50 hours submitting your podcast, you can spend 5 or 6 – honestly it may not even be that long!
Reasons to Get Listed in a Podcast Directory
Podcast Directories are a great way, to not only spread the word about your podcast but increase search engine visibility of the podcast overall.
A podcast directory can introduce your podcast to a new audience, both at home and across the globe – The SEO Podcast has an audience today that is truly global for every podcast each week.
In essence, a directory lets you attract a new audience, get more ratings and reviews and ensure your subscribers get your latest podcasts (because they can subscribe on whatever platform they want).
How to Submit Your Show to a Podcast Directory
Submitting a podcast to a directory is simple, in most cases.
You find the sign up link/submission link (we’ve got a fairly big list below) and enter the RSS feed URL from your Podcast Host.
From there, depending on the platform it will generally ask you to verify the email address contained within the feed (usually the one you signed up with for the host / though it can vary as they may hide your personal email). Once this is done, you can sign in and edit the podcast details specific to this directory/platform.
Once you’ve signed up and the feed is verified, you can sit back and relax – that directory will receive updates from the feed each time you post/upload a new podcast to the host.
Top Podcast Directories for 2023
1 – Apple Podcasts
One of the biggest podcast directories and players globally with just under 30 Million ACTIVE users, Apple Podcasts is well worth signing up for. Not just for its audience size and your chance to pick up a fraction of this, but because by signing up to Apple Podcasts you will automatically feed into these directories:
With only a few hundred thousand less podcast listeners than Apple, Spotify is certainly worth signing up for and ensuring you get found on this platform.
In recent years, Spotify have bought two big Podcasting brands showing how keen they are to invest in this area, and this has paid dividends with the growth in audience they have seen.
Signing up for Spotify Podcasts is simple (though we advise you don’t use you personal email for this!) – simply head over to Spotify for Podcasts ( https://podcasters.spotify.com/ ) and once signed with your RSS feed you can see the podcast as part of your catalog.
3 – Google Podcasts
Google Podcasts has a small share of the global podcast player market at just 2.4% (2021). You may think this means it’s not worth the hassle of signing up – but we need to remember that Google owns the search engine world and when it comes to finding your podcast through a ‘normal’ search engine and not a podcast directory directly it pays to have submitted your directory here.
A top tip here is to ensure that across directories and platforms you are not significantly changing the description of your podcast, and that if you are inserting links to your website these are consistent. This ensures that search engines like Google know your podcast is the same across these areas and as it see’s more people linking to them across the web you are becoming more popular as a podcast overall.
Signing up to Google Podcasts is easy, simply head over to the Google Podcast Manager ( https://podcastsmanager.google.com/ ) and hit sign up. Again submitting your RSS feed and verification is required of your email.
4 – Amazon Music & Audible
Amazon Music, a part of Amazon Prime (Music) – and Audible, primarily a Audio Book service now with a butt ton of Podcasts are a fast-growing Podcast Market globally. The pace of growth is driven by both sections being a part of Membership programs and giving for free as part of that – though this of course holds them back a little too from a larger audience.
As always enter your RSS feed and verify your email. A little like spotify and google your options are a little limited on editing.
5 – TuneIN
TuneIN is roughly double the size of Amazon Music (for podcasters) today, and well worth signing up for. The platform is setup primarily as an internet radio station functionality – which means its designed to function well with Alexa and other voice-controlled tech, including in-car tech hands free. This is a big deal for reaching a bigger audience as hand’s free isn’t always available for many apps (including amazong/audible) in cars.
To sign up for TuneIN you simply complete a submission form and wait for the OK – https://help.tunein.com/contact/add-podcast-S19TR3Sdf
6 – iHeart Radio
If you’ve had any new smart technology in the past few years, you will have seen iHeart on it, including smart watches! It has almost 150M users (though we’re not clear how many are active), and it’s worth signing up for as many smaller directories also use their feeds.
Verify your email. Note it can take 24/48 hours to confirm.
7 – Stitcher
Another name you’ve probably heard of, Stitcher, is found on most android phones fresh out of the factory. With such a huge user base and a large base of directories using their feeds – this is a must for signing up to!
NOTE: If you get on stitcher you get on Pandora too! It says this almost nowhere but it’s true… if you want the stats directly for the breakdown and to ensure you’re live on both head over to https://connect.simplecast.com/
8 – Samsung Podcasts
Our reasons for including Samsung Podcasts here is that Samsung include their podcast software with most android phones, whilst its not the most used piece of software in the UK or USA – it is popular elsewhere. It’s well worth including in your submissions.