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Sunday, December 9, 2007

Google Zeitgeist - Google Trend

Turning to Google itself for a definition of zeitgeist (define:zeitgeist), there's consensus that it refers to "the spirit of the times." Google Zeitgeist provides a weekly, monthly, and yearly overview of what the Web was interested in. And Google Zeitgeist ( ) is just that: a mirror that the Web (according to Google) holds up to us, providing a snapshot of the week, month, or year that was.

Click the Archive link to choose any year from the Google Zeitgeist Archive and display links for every week, month, and year since January 2001.

It takes only a few moments of visiting Google Zeitgeist before you're itching to go back a little further in time: the week your second child was born, the month during which the Olympics were held, the year you graduated from high school.

Weekly Zeitgeist updates actually started in June 2001, at the same time the monthlies switched from PDF to HTML format. In August 2005, Google stopped listing declining queries and started listing 5 more of the top gaining queries, bringing the total to 15.

Monthly reports provide some information about Google News queries and Google Image Search queries, and you can find monthly reports for countries around the world by clicking the Zeitgeist Around the World link on the front page. Year-end reports provide even more detail with trend graphs.

While Google Zeitgeist's statistics aren't earth-shattering (e.g., searches for iraq more than doubled on March 19, 2003, the date that Operation Iraqi Freedom beganimagine that!), it does provide a snapshot of what the world in aggregate found interesting enough to look up.

See Also

If Google Zeitgeist piques your interest, you might also try the Yahoo! Buzz Index ( ), a similar collection of statistics around popular Yahoo! Searches: the day's top movers (overall and by various Yahoo! categories), most viewed and emailed Yahoo! news items, and a market trendlike chart (click the View Complete Chart... link associated with any of the buzz listings on the front page) of leaders and movers, according to buzz score ( ).

Google Trends ( ) is a new product from the Google Labs that graphs the mentions of words of phrases over time. Type in two words separated by commas to get a quick visual sense of the popularity. For example, "Google, Yahoo" shows you which search engine is mentioned more across time, regions, news stories, and languages.

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