Google Trends Web Measurement Tool

Part of the Kenno's Blog series.
By Ken Brown
Editor, You Can Learn Series
Updated:
June 23, 2008
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Are you dissatisfied with the information available from Alexa as far as viewing web traffic for blogs? I certainly know I am very dissatisfied with Alexa. Well, there is a new sheriff in town and Alexa should be scared. The new 800 pound gorilla is none other than Google, which has just released their new Google Trends for Websites.

Why should you care? It's backed by Google and it's free. Now you can compare your web site or blog with your favorite competitor. How does your make money blog compare to John Chow, John Cow or Problogger? Who has the most traffic? Google has an answer. I want to thank WebProNews and Doug Caverly for introducing me to this new tool from Google.

Google Labs Product Still in Discovery Mode

The Google Trends for Websites is still in discovery mode. It is part of Google Labs and as such will probably change over time. But, it has some cool features including, a graph with your traffic or if you type in multiple domain names you can graph you and your competitor's traffic side by side. Along with the graph you will find a list of regions where your visitors come from, websites your visitors also visited and some other search terms.

The data that is displayed comes from
"a variety of sources, such as aggregated Google search data, aggregated opt-in anonymous Google Analytics data, opt-in consumer panel data, and other third-party market research. The data is aggregated over millions of users, powered by computer algorithms, and doesn't contain personally identifiable information. Additionally, Google Trends for Websites only shows results for sites that receive a significant amount of traffic, and enforces minimum thresholds for inclusion in the tool."


They show data for the last year, which may be good or bad depending on the kind of year you are having. It is only available in English currently, but they claim other languages will be available long term. You can type in up to five websites at one time separating them with a comma.

Google Trends for Websites show a graph of the chosen websites traffic.


The graph that is displayed shows traffic trends for all websites on your list that Google has traffic from. Then below that information is a drop down list box of the websites on your list. By choosing one of the sites in the list you can create comparisions based on data of the chosen site.

Google Trends for Websites regions and subregions.

What region are your visitors coming from? Are you getting traffic from the United States, India, Australia, California, New York, Illinois or Florida? How does the traffic compare with the other websites in your list? Do you excel in other states from your competitors? Is there a reason that is happening? Should you have a better or bigger presence in New York or California?

By clicking on a specific region link you can dig deeper into the region and get trends for just that region. This allows your research to go deeper and your analysis be more comprehensive.

Google Trends for Websites Also Visited column shows other websites visitors also visited.

The "Also visited" list shows websites that your visitors also visited. Do your visitors track the same visitation pattern that your competitors visit? Do you know why there is a difference? Does it matter? I suspect part of the visitation pattern has to do with advertisers to your blog or articles you write with links to other articles. If you blog about gardening are your visitors also visiting other gardening sites? Remember to not compare your site's visitors to blogs in different niches. It may not mean much. But, as you peruse the list evaluate where there is sameness and try to interpret the differences.

Google Trends for Websites has an also searched for column showing other keywords visitors searched on.

There is also a list for "Also searched for" meaning that visitors to your site also searched on other sites for specific information. This might translate into a competitive advantage if you want to extract and evaluate the data provided. Remember you can get similar information from Google Adwords and many different non-Google keyword tracking sites.

Feel Free to Play with the Google Trends for Websites Tool

As you play around with the tool you might find yourself clicking on one of the subregions presented and you will see that the "Also visited" and "Also searched for" sections changes. The people in India that visit your blog are visiting different sites and searching on different keywords than people from California.

Don't be too concerned if the information about your blog or web site is not graphed. I don't know what the threshold levels are, but in the time frame I checked for my web site, I had over 100,000 page views a month with over 40,000 visitors per month. During that time frame my search engine traffic represented 80% or more of my traffic. My site didn't graph.

Something I did see that I found interesting is if you compare sites in your particular niche using the graph you can find seasonal trends. As you are planning your ad budget or new product releases, this information becomes important for financing and marketing. If you look at the graph for these garden sites you see the trends for summer (high) and winter (low). These are obviously no brainers for landscaping, gardening and seeds, but how about your niche? Are you about to roll out a brand new web site or product during a down time for your niche? This tool could save you a ton of money if used properly.

Google Trends for Websites has allows you to view seasonal trends for a niche market like these landscaping and garden websites.

Google Trends for Websites is a Fascinating Tool

Google trends for websites and blogs is a fascinating tool and opens up many avenues of playing and musing while you should be working or writing. But, I think there are nuggets of value that can be harvested and used to your advantage. Remember that the information is compiled information from multiple sources and may not accurately reflect all information available from the website. Then again, Alexa doesn't come close either so, you haven't lost anything by making decisions from the information available from Google Trends for Websites.


Stumble It!
I Ran Out Of Blog Ideas What Should I Write About - Blog Article Idea Starters - Do you ever reach that point where you don't know what to blog about next? As long as it isn't fatal, meaning you are so sick of blogging you never want to see your blog ever again, then these tips may prove useful for you.

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