“What keywords are trending?”
It’s the question people ask me all the time SEO. That’s why, in an effort to answer it, I have been collecting Google Search Trends data since the beginning of the year.
As anyone who has used Google Trends will tell you, this tool provides quick information to see directional data on anywhere between one keyword to five keywords presented over time. When you want to gather information on trending terms around topics, however, things get a bit more time-intensive. I believe you really need to put in time to pull data on a regular basis and review it as you go to get the best insights – so that’s precisely what I’ve been doing.
To-date, I have two initiatives going – one is at a macro-level, and the other is at a micro-level.
The micro-level initiative is focused on understanding search volume growth around keywords that are related to some of my client’s top products and services. We’re constantly digging in to see what the latest rising and top terms are and then conducting further research and analysis on them using the Google Trends tool.
The macro-level initiative is structured towards gaining a better understanding of the most popular queries are on any given day. With the help of my teammate Brandon Ma, we have been pulling the top three keyword phrases in terms of search volume as reported by Google every day. This data pull and analysis has given us some understanding of what drives people to query Google in the moment, what topics people have been interested in this month, and what we can learn from it. Ultimately, we are putting in the work to provide insights for our team and our clients to utilize this free Google tool to its full extent.
In this blog post, I am presenting the findings for the top searched terms from the US in the month of September 2019 from Google’s Daily Search Trends found here: https://trends.google.com/trends/trendingsearches/daily?geo=US
Each of the top three terms was recorded with the number of queries that keyword drove for that specific day. Google reports estimations in round numbers with a plus sign next to the number to denote the exact count is somewhere above the number shown. The scale that we saw for the top three keywords last month topped out at 10,000,000+ and the lower limit was at 200,000+.
Here are some of the observations we had after looking at the data.
Google Doodles Drive Searches
Google drives searches in its engine by changing its logo via its long-running Google Doodle program. Changing their logo entices users who visit the homepage of Google, open their app, or open a new tab in Chrome to click on the Doodle and, in turn, query the engine. The majority of the keywords that were reported to have 10MM+ queries for the month of September in the US were presented as Google Doodles:
- Ynes Mexia – Mexican-American botanist and explorer in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month (9/15)
- Rugby World Cup – Opening Day of the tournament (9/19)
- Junko Tabei – First woman to reach the summit of Mt. Everest, celebrating what would have been her 80th birthday (9/22)
- Fall Season – Noting the first day of Autumn (9/23)
- Google – A doodle to celebrate the engine’s 21st birthday – somebody buy it a beer! (9/27)
Sports Interest Fuels Queries
With the NFL season kicking off in September, it has dominated as the top trending topic of the month. An NFL related phrase took the top queried term of the day 11 times throughout the month.
Here are some of the highlights:
- Antonio Brown – 2MM+ (9/4)
- NFL – 5MM+ (9/5)
- NFL – 5MM+ (9/7)
- Thursday Night Football – 2MM+ (9/12)
- Antonio Brown – 2MM+ (9/20)
- Eagles vs. Packers – 5MM+ (9/26)
Since I have been looking at these top phrases since the beginning of the year, Google Trends data certainly supports the popularity of the NFL over all other American professional sports leagues. As for most popular teams, the Cowboys are the top driver of team name search queries. The Patriots come in second for the month of September, but I am sure they’ll be number one again when it matters.
TV Show Premieres Are Search Worthy
With the new Fall TV season, people are still Googling their favorite network TV shows.
- American Horror Story – 500K+ (9/18)
- This Is Us – 500K+ (9/24)
- Masked Singer – 500K+ (9/25)
Some other TV events also made our list:
- AGT Winner 2019 – 500K+ (9/17)
- Emmys 2019 – 2MM+ (9/23)
Although their popularity is waning, Primetime TV shows still get attention for their premieres.
The Top Tech Keywords
Hot new video platforms and the latest iPhones drove millions of queries last month.
- Tiktok – 2MM+ (9/6)
- iPhone 11 – 5MM+ (9/9)
- iPhone 11 Pro – 2MM+ (9/10)
Marketers have been keeping an eye on Tiktok as a new platform to reach audiences. With the spike of search interest in early September, Google Trends is showing that user interest is increasing.
Searches Related to Politics
Queries related to the national politics made the top daily searches in the month of September.
- Democratic Debate – 2MM+ (9/11)
- Impeachment – 1MM+ (9/23)
- Trump – 2MM+ (9/24)
- Whistleblower Complaint – 1MM+ (9/25)
News stories typically drive queries as people seek to learn more about events as they happen. It’s fascinating to see the progression of the presidential impeachment inquiry.
After pulling the top three queries each day for 30 days, we garnered a list of 90 phrases by the end of September. Looking over these phrases as a whole and segmenting them by our own categorization, it’s clear Sports and Entertainment related keywords spur the most searches. Sports keywords made up 38 of the 90 phrases. They were mostly NFL related with instances of college football, tennis stars, and Champions League soccer (sorry, football).
Entertainment keywords took 26 slots of the 90 total keywords. Sadly, celebrity deaths made up a good chunk of those queries (RIP Eddie Money and Ric Ocasek). Other queries were related to premieres or releases. Just like TV shows, movie titles also made the list. We probably could have predicted big opening weekends for It: Chapter 2 and Ad Astra based on the keyword search volume each of them had in September alone.
Now that we have this collection of data and high-level analysis, we are eager to know more. Was the search interest around this year’s season opener bigger or smaller than last year? What are the top rising phrases related to Fall? Was the release of the iPhone 11 as big as X? Once we dig in further, we’ll have some valuable insights to share with our teams and clients.
See you next month!