How Google Trends Can Help You Evaluate Domains and NichesPosted: December 4, 2011
For a lot of people, keyword research starts and ends at the Google Keyword Tool. While it can be pretty good at giving you a snapshot of a keyword’s value, there’s something missing.
Imagine looking at a current stock price quote. It tells you what it’s worth now. But of course what you want to know is what it’s going to be worth. One thing you can look at to help figure that out is its past price history.
Unfortunately with stocks, there’s still no way to know for sure. Keywords on the other hand often stick to patterns or otherwise flow pretty naturally. This makes Google Trends a very useful tool to gauge where a keyword is going to go.
Google trends gives you a graph of past search data for a keyword, all the way back to 2004. It’s not a graph that tells you actual search volume, but instead merely a “relative” graph. So it’s not really a standalone tool to use, but something to use in addition to the Google Keyword Tool which gives you the actual search volume.
How can Google Trends Help You Evaluate a Keyword?
1. Is it going up or down now?
The main reason to look at Google Trends is to see if there’s major movement for a keyword now and the recent past. If you were in a coma for the past few years, you wouldn’t know that tablets have absolutely boomed in popularity. One look at Google Trends on the keyword tablets and you could easily see it. So tablet domains clearly would be moving up in price and as you can see, the graph is still smoothly rising.
Likewise, you can see the fall of a keyword too, or even of a site. In fact, you can even see both the rise and fall of MySpace. If a keyword is falling, especially over a long period of time, that’s a good indicator that domains with that keyword have been falling in value.
2. Is it stable?
Ultimately you won’t come across a lot of keywords going sharply up or down. That said, seeing a keyword being stable, only having a slight move up or down over the long term, is generally a good thing. Stability of a niche is important if you expect to make revenue in it over the long term, and likewise it makes domains with the keywords a safer bet than in an unstable niche.
3. Is it seasonal?
I recently went over seasonal domains and the quirks involving them. It’s painfully obvious that Black Friday is a seasonal term, but the seasonality for something like laptops may not be as obvious. Google Trends helps point out the dips and rises for certain times of the year with 7 years under its belt.
4. Is there a long-term rise/decline?
Having linked to the laptops Trends graph, you’ll notice that this past year has been a down year for it. That could indicate laptops as an niche/industry losing health (which it has been somewhat to tablets). You wouldn’t know that from the current month’s searches or even from the past year of trends that Google Keyword Tool gives. In fact, it appears 2011 is the worst year of the entire 7-year span covered by Google Trends.
So if you’re considering building a website online and aren’t sure which area, run some different niches in Trends. See what areas appear at least stable if not rising over time and look deeper into those areas first. Avoid areas on a sharp decline and consider avoiding the ones declining over time as well.
Lastly, if you’re buying exact match domains for SEO purposes, you may get the best bang for your buck getting domains to target upward trending keywords. Likewise, you could avoid wasting your money on targeting a downward trending term that may fizzle out eventually.