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Google visualises top searches in real time

A new tool from Google Trends lets you see what searches are trending in real time.

A new tool from Google Trends lets you see what searches are trending in real time.

(Screenshot by Michelle Starr/CNET Australia)

Every year, Google releases its Zeitgeist: a breakdown by country of the biggest internet searches of the year. If you want a more regular snapshot, though, Google has just announced Top Charts, a monthly version of the Zeitgeist, with search available and backdated to 2004. Since it's based on Google's Knowledge Graph, it takes into account variation in search terms to deliver fairly accurate results.

So far, Top Charts only includes the US, with the drop-down region menu stating only "More countries coming soon", but there's something that's a little more fun: a tool that visualises searches in real time, called "Visualise hot searches" (a link can also be found on the left-hand side of the Trends home page).

This is a Google-coloured full-screen dynamic display that shows the top searches from Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Japan, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, the UK and the US. You can view each of these regions individually by mousing over and clicking the menu in the bottom left.

You can also change the view of the page by clicking the grid in the top left. This gives you either a single pane or a grid of up to 25 of constantly updating information. Of course, it works best in Chrome.

It's fascinating, in a vaguely discomfiting sort of way. A lot of people seem very concerned with Amanda Bynes and Taylor Swift.