Wednesday, June 06, 2007


As a PR practitioner, I'm supposed to be interested in trends, but things like this baffle me. There doesn't seem to be much in Google's hot trends based on search volume.

So there was a spike in a certain term at a certain hour? What does that mean, if anything, other than potential coincidence? Even if there is a manifest explanation for the surge, what significance does it have to the larger world? Look through the top 100 search terms, and there doesn't appear to be much reason for most of them. Counting search terms appears to be an interesting but pointless exercise. The underlying information that Google supplies for each term is as pointless as the search ranking itself. PR practitioners need more than this to understand what is happening in society. Google Trends is a start, but not a good one, toward a potential solution. Part of the problem is that with billions of searches a day, there isn't much likelihood that a majority of them will concentrate about any topic.

Perhaps that is the lesson. There aren't that many trends. Individual interests are too disparate. If so, that is valuable enough for those who continue to think about audiences rather than individuals.

I read somewhere about how at least 16 of the "hottest trends" on a Saturday morning are related to the NY Times crossword.

Quite funny and interesting.

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