Google has increased the frequency that it updates its Google Trends service, so that trends are now updated daily, instead of monthly. Trends launched in May 2006, and has been updated a few times since then. Most recently, Google added a Hot Trends feature a list of the queries that are being searched on more than they usually are. Google has also made available an RSS feed and iGoogle gadget for Hot Trends, which is updated in "very near to real time."
The tool is vulnerable to the vagaries of Internet fame, as well as offline events or media. Google attempts to explain some of the posts by providing a list of news stories about the keyword. For instance, among the hot trends as I write this are "Daily Oklahoman," a newspaper involved in a well-publicized spat with Oklahoma State football coach Mike Gundy; and "Nikki Sixx," the bassist for 80s hair metal band Motley Crue, who recently wrote a book chronicling his drug use.
For those phrases that defy an easy explanation, Google has created a Hot Trends group to let users add their facts and theories about the trends, such as whether a topic was mentioned on Oprah, or showed up in last night's popular sit-com.
For search marketers, the tool can be used to gauge the interest in certain keywords, as long as they have been queried enough times. It can also give bloggers fodder for their posts, to take advantage of the rise in searches for a given topic.
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