Google offers 'Insights for Search'

New tool for advertisers lets them track where, when, and in what contexts a search term is most popular. Results can also be filtered by geographic region, time frame, or category.

Caroline McCarthy Former Staff writer, CNET News
Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.
Caroline McCarthy

Google has taken its popular Google Trends and launched a spin-off product called Google Insights for Search. Geared toward advertisers, it's a tool to track a particular search term's popularity across the Web and geographic regions of the world.

For Google, this can help boost advertiser confidence and potentially win its program some new converts who would've otherwise been skeptical regarding how effectively they could target an online ad campaign.

With Google Insights for Search, you can search for a term to track how much it's been googled over time, where on a "heat map" it's most popular, and what the top "related" and "rising" searches for the term are.

Results can also be filtered by geographic region, time frame, or category. Let's say you search for "spears," and most of the results on Google Insights for Search deal with some trashy pop star. But you happen to be the owner of a small business that creates replica medieval weapons, so that's not the sort of spears you're looking for. You can narrow your search down to a single field--"industries," say, or "recreation," and hope you see fewer instances of Britney and Jamie Lynn.

Here's another one: search for "spaghetti," and you'll get a lot of results about people seeking recipes. But narrow it down to the "lifestyles" category, and you'll see that most of the search results that Google Insights provides involve the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.