I’ve just spent a happy lunch hour playing with Google Correlate. It lets you enter real world time series data (weekly sales, temperature, or footfall for example) and then tries to correlate it with search trends. This could be extremely useful for planning content or paid search, or just for winkling out that all-important ‘insight’ that delivers the edge.
So to try it out I downloaded some historic weather data from the Met Office, munged it around a bit (Correlate seems to take well to two column CSV formatted data using US-formatted dates —
mm/dd/yyyy), then uploaded it into the tool.
Running the tool gives me a set of 10 searches that closely match the seasonality and trends in my data set.
When the temperature increases in the UK, we’re likely to be go fishing, be bothered by flies and spot grass snakes. Only after we’ve trimmed the hedge and creosoted our garden fences of course.
I slightly resent this image of the average English person as a coarse-fishing gardener obsessed by party boundaries, but in my soul of souls I fear that it’s probably fairly accurate.