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Google starts video series showcasing hot searches

Google Beat will focus on the top search terms of the week, marking a rare occasion where Google has actively produced its own content.

Too bad This Week in Google was already taken.

Google announced plans Friday to produce a weekly video show called Google Beat, in which it will highlight the top search queries of the week as produced by Google Insights for Search and Google Trends. Gabriel Stricker, a Google representative, described the show as a weekly representative of the yearly Google Zeitgeist list that the company puts together toward the end of a calendar year, listing the most active search terms for that year.

It's a bit of a departure for Google: the format is basically a 90-second news/entertainment show, and up until very recently Google hasn't shown much interest in producing its own content or marketing itself this directly. However, there's a sense that Google is starting to think a little differently this year about its marketing strategy after years of relying on word-of-mouth advertising: it produced a Super Bowl ad, for one, and has been following that up with a "search stories" campaign confined mostly to YouTube.

Stricker said that Google receives lots of inquiries from media and others trying to determine information about hot search terms, and that the company felt it could most efficiently answer these queries with a video. Google Beat stars Anne Espiritu, a member of the company's public-relations staff.

There are no plans as yet to expand this type of production into Google News, Stricker said, and Google doesn't plan to give the video prominent placement on the YouTube home page.