Google is giving everyone a chance to peek deeper into its database of search requests and discover the things that preoccupy individuals and, in aggregate, entire cities, regions or nations, at any one time.
The company is introducing a free service called Insights for Search. The tool is intended for marketers, but it allows anyone to track the popularity of various words and phrases that people type into Google’s search box.
The service is an extension of Google Trends, a two-year-old service that, for instance, reveals that Cisco’s stock price and Michael Lockwood, the husband of Lisa Marie Presley, were two of the most-searched terms on Tuesday afternoon.
The collection of search queries that people type into Google has been called a “database of intentions” since it is a window into what people are interested in and, sometimes, what they are interested in buying.
Hal Varian said that while Insights was developed with marketers in mind, the economist hopes it will also be used by others. “We are also very interested in uses like the economic forecasting, finance, sociological studies, even in etymological studies to track how new words spread in the population,” Varian said.
For instance, Insight shows that searches related to home inspections and appraisals in the real estate category rose sharply nationwide in the second half of July. That might suggest to forecasters – as well as marketers – that the residential real estate market is showing signs of life. Of course, searches for foreclosures were also up sharply.
This is a natural for serious bloggers. One more tool for analysis and structure.