Google has an application that allows you to monitor search trends of their engine. While this isn’t particularly useful so far as I can tell it does show some neat results if you play with it a little bit. I suppose you can argue using this tool on the relative importance of some things. I really noted the seasonal trends of a few search items.
- Skiing vs. Snowboarding Triathlon vs. Cycling – notice spike during the Tour de France.
- Stanley Cup – Obviously missing in 2005.
- Olympics vs. Sport
- Christmas vs. Easter
- Oscar – Note the double spike, I guess people do some searching when nominees are announced.
- Gyms vs. New Years Resolutions
- Boston Marathon vs. New York Marathon vs. Chicago Marathon
It is also cool to note the growth of certain searches, but it has to be recent, because data older than 3 years was never recorded.
And you can also see how some searches correlate with certain events, therefore search topics related to those things will appear to be correlated.