• Google Insights for Search can help you identify daily search trends in your niche so you can turn out current and informative news via your blog.


  • By studying seasonality and the time of day people are searching, you can allocate any advertising budget more effectively by reaching your audience when there is a peak interest in your subject.
     
  • You can filter search trends by country, category, year and even the type of search. Be it a standard web search, an image search, a news search or a Google product search to dig deep into the data.
     
  • Google even gives you the hottest related searches to your query so you know the exact terms people are searching for and the ratio of searches for that term compared to your original query.

Having a scientific brain means I only believe what can be proved. So with the predicted 2012 apocalypse just around the corner I was interested to see what type of searches this “global event” is drawing across Google worldwide. And what i found may just make even the most skeptical reader think twice.

I started with a search for “2012 Apocalypse”.

As you can see there are very little searches on the subject until 2008 with the peak searches happening now. This makes sense because as 21st December 2012 draws ever closer then interest in this topic will peak.

The spike in Nov 2009 marked F is when Roland Emmerichs apocalyptic movie 2012 was released.

The spike in June 2012 marked A is from several reports across Miami, Florida of cannibalistic killings that were originally reported to be zombie-like attacks.

Zombie-like attacks?

So I then searched for “Zombie Apocalypse” and overlayed the findings in red on the previous search for “2012 apocalypse” in blue.

Now we can see there is a massive spike in searches for “zombie apocalypse” during June 2012 in which searches peak for this term. This confirms that people were searching on Google for news related to the zombie-like attacks.  

Now this is the scary part….

If you are reading this article and wondering how on earth a mass spike in searches could signify the end of the world then read on….

Google Insights for Search also offer the option to upload your own data. The CDC (Centre for Disease Control) are one the many authorities that contribute to this data. The following image captures in red searches across Google US for “symptoms of flu” compared to the data in blue which is reported cases of “influenza-like illnesses” as uploaded by the CDC.

You can see from this graph that the data provided for the actual recorded cases of influenza is very close to the amount of searches on Google US for the “symptoms of flu”.

This makes sense. Most people tend to search on Google to diagnose (or misdiagnose) their illness before visiting a doctor. But Google data is available almost immediately whereas the CDC data takes approximately 6 weeks to be recorded, and in the case of a real zombie apocalypse  or “end of the world” event, 6 weeks later would be far too late to warn people.

So would Google know the end of the world was approaching before the rest of us??

What do YOU think?
 

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Hayley

Search Analyst at Silkstream
SEO, blogger and Google geek. Committed to helping small business thrive during economic austerity.
  • Ketan

    Very Clever Article!

  • Carl

    Appreciation for this information is over 9000 ;) – thank you!