Mining patterns in Search Data with Google Correlate

 

Just like the above google comics, it all started with the flu. Google found that certain search terms are good indicator of actual flu activity, so they launched Google Flu Trends in 2008. With Google Flue Trends,flu activity in 28 countries can be timely estimated. The system allow you to enter a search term and see the trend.

However, this feature did not satisfy researchers. Researchers told google that they want to do it the other way round. They want to enter the trend of some real world activity and see which search terms best match that trend.

Therefore, Google worked hard and finally they came out with the new solution: Google Correlate. With Google correlate, you can upload your own data series (eg. time series or place series) and see a list of search terms whose popularity best corresponds with that real world trend.

Just like the example below, we uploaded CDC influenza rate then we can find that poeple search terms like “cold” or “flu” in a similar pattern to actual flu rates.

 

Data from search activity is such a great source that can be utilized to improve economics, health and other fields. In my opinion, it will definitely be a great source for social media marketing.

To know more about the tool in graphics, click on the comic above.

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