As an SEO, I am constantly tasked with analyzing trends in the internet in order to make sound decisions for my clients. On a day to day basis monitoring certain tools at our disposal is a necessity in order to make these proper decisions for a campaign.
Today… we will be using the same methodology, yet for insights into local regional current events…that perhaps could save your life!
Now for all those of you watching from The Eastern Seaboard, you all are aware that a hurricane swept through our backyards this weekend. Some of you may have even felt the effect of this storm and if so, our prayers and sympathies are with you.
Now, in retrospect, it is easy to ascertain trajectory the storm took and what states and even towns were most effected by just reading the news visiting the weather channel website.
However, as an interesting barometer to see how well the internet keeps its finger on the pulse of society, lets check google insights to see how the search activity of the United States behaved over the last 7 days.
Here you see a map from the google insights tool outlining the most popular regions for the search query: “Hurricane Irene”
Am I the only one that is amazed out how accurate the data is here? I mean, this is practically the exact trajectory of the storm…..
Taking a step back, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the people in the storms path are most interested in the latest updates on the storm headed their way. I myself recall searching the query myself several times this weekend on my blackberry as I was interested in how the states currently being battered were fairing and thus how seriously I myself should prepare for the incoming hurricane.
Taking it a step further, we may be able to gain insight into the most badly effected states, by entering related queries such as sump pump or power generator..
When querying sump pump, the most popular state was New Jersey, therefore one may be able to determine that the flooding could have been the worst in this state.
While querying the term generators Connecticut and New Jersey come in neck and neck for the term. Giving us insight that these two states could have faired the worst when it came to losing electricity in their homes.
An interesting point here though is how can one search for a power generator if their power is down?
And this is ultimately the reason why this data needs to be taken with a grain of salt. As ultimately we have no insight into the searchers intent here.
But you can still see how the Google insights tool is a useful program for analyzing trends in the way certain regions are searching for products, events, or even the weather.