Google Zeitgeist -Determine how popular your keywords are

Monday, October 06, 2008 Posted by Aman Jain

Webmasters and others — for example, people involved in web marketing and product development — are interested in the sheer number of results for keyword (and phrase) searches. These search results provide information on how important keywords (and the topics they represent) are within Google's index servers. The reality is that the estimated number of hits for popular keywords varies with time; sometimes the number varies a great deal in surprisingly short amounts of time. This information can tell you whether a topic (represented by the keyword) is increasing or decreasing in popularity, as well as how important the topic is!!

Google makes available a great deal of information about interesting user trends on its Zeitgeist — located at

The Zeitgeist page shows ranking by user actions; for example, it shows how popular searches for Nicole Kidman were. It does not provide hit information (the number of times Nicole Kidman appears in Web pages), and it doesn't actually list the number of times the phrase Nicole Kidman was searched. If you want up-to-date information, you won't find it on the Zeitgeist page. Information is typically two or three weeks old before it is posted

The information on the Zeitgeist page is fascinating. It's also idiosyncratic, dated, and incomplete. It's an interesting factoid (from October, 2004) that dragons are the second-most popular animals searched for using Google (after dogs), but dragons may be of no particular interest to you, your Web site, or your research.
This application is particularly useful for topics that are popular enough to generate many hits. The Zeitgeist page bases its assessment of popularity primarily on the number of times users enter a particular keyword or term in the Google Web search box. This kind of comparative popularity of search terms is valuable information to Webmasters because it helps them relatively rank the importance of topics and to plan Web sites that will draw traffic.

If your research leads you to track popular trends, you may find these trend-tracking Web resources useful:
BlogPulse ( provides automated tools for tracking trends within the world of blogging.
DailyCandy ( is an e-mail newsletter focusing on fashion and food trends, with an emphasis on "hipness." DailyCandy comes in a national edition and several regional editions.
Daypop ( provides lists of the hottest blogging topics.
Trendcentral ( is a Web site and e-mail newsletter aimed at tracking, er, trends. It focuses on lifestyles, technology, and entertainment, and it primarily covers youth markets. ( is a site and e-mail newsletter primarily focused on international business trends; it is aimed at business executives and others involved in marketing.
Yahoo! Buzz ( provides information about (and some analysis of) the top Yahoo! searches.
MSN Search ( provides a flashy and fun display of what people are looking for on MSN.