Google's Top Charts Offer Engaging Visuals for Popular Searches Over Time

Google has launched Top Charts, allowing users to visualize and share the most-searched people, places, and things in more than 40 categories, all the way back to 2004.

Derived from Google’s Knowledge Graph, the data is featured in Google Trends and updates dynamically. Users can choose from categories such as actors, animals, and athletes to scientists, software technology and sports cars.

Here’s what Top Charts looks like when you land there:


Google Top Charts are sharable, too. Users can embed select charts that allow others to explore the data and share again.

Here’s a couple interesting comparisons from searches in 2013 versus 2004 using those embeddable charts. Just click on any one of the trending searches within the embedded chart for more stats.

Popular food searches 2013:

Popular food searches 2004:

Popular people searches 2013:

Popular people searches 2004:

Google also announced another feature that allows users to visualize Hot Searches, which basically covers typed queries in a colorful wrapper.

You can access that within Trends where the arrow is pointing in this screenshot:


Google points out the difference between data in Hot Searches and Top Charts in the Trends help center:

Hot Searches is different than Top Charts in a few ways. First, Hot Searches highlights queries that jumped significantly in traffic, whereas Top Charts highlights topics with high overall search volume. Second, Hot Searches is built on realtime data, so it can surface trending topics that are spiking as recently as a half-hour ago. We hope to add realtime data to the rest of Top Charts, but for now the best place to see realtime trends is in Hot Searches.

Top Charts is available to users worldwide, but Google says it’s "starting off with charts based on search volumes in the U.S. We'll launch new regions and categories as soon as we're confident enough in the data quality."

About the author

Jessica Lee is a marketer specializing in web content strategy and B2B/B2C writing. Since 2005, Jessica has been in the business of content and communications, with the past several years focused on the web marketing space.

Prior to launching her consulting business, bizbuzzcontent, Jessica was responsible for content strategy, development and marketing for Bruce Clay Inc. – a global SEO firm, where she served small businesses and Fortune 500 clients. Jessica's background also includes positions in traditional marketing, communications, broadcasting and publishing.

Jessica has a bachelor's in communications and public relations from San Diego State University. She also contributed to the book “Search Engine Optimization All-in-One For Dummies” 2nd edition.