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Christmas is Coming - Re-Visit Google Trends
Autumn Lull Will Soon Be Over

 8:41 pm on Oct 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

For the majority of my websites (consumer electronics)this is a quiet time of year - visitors drop off, revenue goes down, and it can be too easy to think it's something to do with penalties, algo changes or other things out of my direct control.

So what I do is punch in my most historically important key-words and phrases to Google trends and look at what has been happening over the last few years.

I find it a good morale booster, you can see the traffic spikes that will be coming, and it spurs me on to update relevant pages and add new content to catch those all important new, related keywords.

I know from my Google analytics data and Google trends that for one of my most important key-phrases, "widget thingamy" there is always a lull in the Spring, a spike in the Summer, another lull in the Autumn, and then a huge spike towards Christmas, so I make sure that particular site is more than ready to catch all those fresh visitors, with the new related widgets and thingamy's. I double check browser compatibility, broken links, and fine tune any ad layout and positioning experiments.

Aspirational goods that I may have trouble getting individual pages ranked for (too much heavy competition) get links on the pages I know I will do well on - and people always click across.

Christmas is coming - are you ready?



 8:47 pm on Oct 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

A timely message - but if you are running a truly international web business, you also need to remember that it is now SPRING for the southern hemisphere, and not autumn. Christmas holidays might well include a barbeque, a picnic, or a session on the beach improving your tan.

So don't embarrass yourself with Brazilians, Australians, and so on with web copy that is too provincial.


 8:53 pm on Oct 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

Good point, and a great idea for some more original content! (Or some presents for Aussie friends....)


 10:28 pm on Oct 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

I have the same seasonal highs and lows but I'm endeavoring to find something related to that season to increase traffic during the low times. One of my highest months is around thanksgiving due to just one page that has a turkey "widget" on it.


 10:41 pm on Oct 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

More about Google Trends - do the key "landmarks" that are shown from a previous year help you this year? How many ways do you use Google Trends?

I just checked the trend for the word "Christmas" itself and it looks like search volume really tanked last year -- even though the News References maintained the normal pace. Not sure what we can make of that, though.


 5:00 pm on Oct 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

< System: The following 2 messages were spliced on to this thread from another location. >

I was checking something out for a client on google trends and looked up custom widgets, custom otherwordforwidgets. What I saw in trends was that there was a steady but noticable decline for both terms over the last couple of years.

I then went in and tried state names. I saw the same trend pattern there also.

What I'm wondering is: Why would there be less search volume for single terms (ie state names).? I can think of a couple of possiblities

1. Users are getting more sophisticated and using multi search terms.. ie statename sports or statename travel .. However, with the increase in connected users and increases in bandwidth, this doesn't make a lot of sense.

2. People are using search engines other than google. Again, common sense would tend to say that isn't what is happening.

3. Google is counting searched differently. This doesn't make sense because we should then see a kinked curve, not a gradual decline.

4. Maybe Google is really getting better at delivering results and people find what they are looking for with less repeat searches for the same word.

5. Take a look at the trend for sex. That is steady.. Maybe people are just using the internet for pure recreation and not any type of enlightenment.

I guess it's ok to put a sample search here. try new york, california, texas and you will see the trend I'm mentioning..

I dunno... I'd be interested in any theories..


[edited by: tedster at 10:44 pm (utc) on Oct. 6, 2007]


 3:53 pm on Oct 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

I see what you mean - the gradual decline seems nearly universally pervasive. I think it's more likely to be an artifact of the tool itself - have you noticed the disclaimer at the bottom of the page?

Google Trends aims to provide insights into broad search patterns. Several approximations are used when computing your results. Please keep this in mind when using it.

Although it is true that gradually users are becoming more sophisticated and using longer searches, it's those "approximations" that I suspect.

< end spliced section >


 9:13 pm on Oct 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

Ok, I find a really useful part of using Google Trends is the ability to compare the levels of searches for different terms within the same broad, related category.
An example of this could be ipods. Look at the trend for ipod. Now look at ipod nano, ipod video, ipod touch. (In the same query, separated by commas.)
Lets look at the trend for digital cameras. Now lets add kodak, canon, nikon, fuji. If I had a digital camera related website then I know which brand I would be concentrating on, and when I would have to have those extra pages / resources / adverts in place by.
I find trends helps put the performance of keywords or phrases in context and focuses the mind on grabbing the most out of those increases in visitors. We all have limited resources and Trends helps to channel those resources towards the most productive goals (ie the broad search terms that are used the most.)

Try it with some of the keywords for your sites. Trends may be useful.

On the Christmas subject this is also the time to revisit any affiliate links - surfers will be switching from "browse" to "buy" mode very soon - who is going to get you the best cut? (But I know that belongs in a different forum...)


 9:27 pm on Oct 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

In reply to lorels post

" I have the same seasonal highs and lows but I'm endeavoring to find something related to that season to increase traffic during the low times. One of my highest months is around thanksgiving due to just one page that has a turkey "widget" on it. "

I'm a big believer in understanding why you're successful (through analysis of what brings visitors to your site) and then trying to build related content which you'll also probably be successful with.

So if you rank highly for searches for say, "digital camera reviews", which peak at xmas, why not create some content for "picture editing" which seems to have strong and consistent growth throughout the year, and it would be reasonable to expect one to follow from the other.

(If you use adsense this can give you great clues to what content Google thinks is related to what you have on your pages that maybe you haven't considered - a series of ads on my main site led to the creation of a whole new sub section which is now doing very nicely.)


 10:44 pm on Oct 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

Great thread, great advice.

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