Google Hot Trends is one of the most useful tools Google offers. It shows a list of keywords that have seen a spike in search traffic recently.
Unlike most search marketing tools, whose data is at least a day (if not months) old, Google Hot Trends generally shows data from the previous hour. That is about as close as it gets to “real time” in this industry.
This can be a powerful support tool for search campaigns that can monetize such traffic spikes (such as news sites or blogs).
More generally, Google Hot Trends provides a wonderful insight into what memes are bubbling up in the Internet soup. It usually includes current news, events, and the name of Hollywood’s “It Girl” plus the word [pictures]. And there are invariably pop culture references that go right over my head.
Imagine my surprise at yesterday’s list of keywords (click on the thumbnail for a larger version):
Did you catch that? Perhaps you should take a closer look at the fifth keyword:
Really? Didn’t that happen five years ago?
Oh yeah, it’s Super Bowl week.
As my buddy Jon Higby said, “Most people couldn’t tell you who was playing that year – but everyone remembers half time!”
Clearly, people are Feelin’ Kinda Sunday.
So, when coming up with keywords, be sure to consider the older keywords that might come back into vogue.
Just FYI, it was Super Bowl XXXVIII in February 2004, and the New England Patriots beat the Carolina Panthers 32-29 on a Adam Vinatieri field goal with four seconds in the game.
Google introduced a new tool on June 24th called Ad Planner. Ad Planner is marketed as a research and media planning tool that will give advertisers another method of measuring their media audience and ROI. It seems to be targeted to reach the long-tail or niche consumers. Currently, Ad Planner is in a beta version and is available for use by invitation only. The service will be free and available to all after the initial trial period.
Ad Planner offers several, interesting features. It allows companies to search for attractive Web sites to place their ads on using specific, demographic, and usage criteria. Ad Planner can also provide keywords that can be used as search terms.
In addition, companies are able to determine what other Web sites their target audience visits. Business product manager of Google, Wayne Lin, cited the example of ESPN.com, showing that visitors to this site also tend to visit cnnsi.com and Cubs.com.
There are, however; some concerns with Google Ad Planner. For instance, the service is not equipped with costs or a brokerage system in order to enable buying. Subsequently, companies will need to seek out vendors or professional media buyers. Also, Ad Planner must be used in conjunction with other, often costly services. The service should be seen as a starting point and used in addition to other research tools.
Although Google Ad Planner may be a useful tool, it should be used with carefulness and caution. Google claims to use outside data as well as their own, but they do not disclose any specific sources. Users should also be concerned about the conflicts of interest since Google sells advertising space.
The tool has some potential, but it lacks services that are necessary to media planning.