Number-crunchers can rejoice as Google Inc offers deeper access to the underlying figures for users' Web searches, giving some insight into trends based on the relative popularity of various words.
The Internet search leader is expanding its existing Google Trends service to allow users to see underlying numerical data on the popularity of any particular search in Google's vast database of search terms, relative to others. Google Trends was begun two years ago as an entertaining but limited way to indicate what the world is thinking about over time, at least in terms of Web searches.
Now Google is giving users the ability to search across terms in its database, instantly chart how they compare to other search terms, then export the underlying numerical data into a common spreadsheet format to compare with other data.
Google Trends lets users compare demand for various search terms and see how popularity differs across geographic regions, cities or languages.
A year ago, the company introduced Hot Trends, which gave users insight into fast-rising Web search trends with data refreshed several times daily. The tool's power only grows as people conduct more and more of their everyday activities online, with Web search often their primary starting point.
The data in Google Trends stretches back to 2004. While the service is based on the many billions of individual searches performed each year, Google Trends only reveals data on the aggregate numbers of searches, not the searches themselves.