Have you ever thought Google Trends needs to be refined?

If you have, you´re in luck. Google has released an update to Google Trends that improves the measurement and accuracy of search interest in people, places and things, according to an announcement I saw on the official Google Search blog.

While previously Google Trends revealed how often people used to search for a keyword over a certain period of time, now it gives suggestions that are based on topics, instead of on keywords. The new feature enables users to differentiate between search terms with ambiguous meanings and to make better comparisons. It has over 700,000 unique topics ranging from Barack Obama to football and Hayao Miyazaki.

Google gives the following example: If you type the word “rice” into the search box, the smarter analysis tool will now give predictions for “Rice University (University)” and “Rice (Cereal).” Thus it will be easy for users to tell Google that they are searching for trends about Rice University and not about the food.

Following the update, Google Trends can also automatically count different searches that have the same meaning. Such is the case with misspellings or topics that are searched in different languages.

For example, if a user wants to measure the search interest in “Gwyneth Paltrow (Actress),” the analysis tool will also take into account searches with the same meaning, like “Gwen Paltro” or “Gweneth Paltrow.” Google adds that in the future, Google Trends may also count searches like “Lead actress in Iron Man”.

The new feature is currently in beta as Google is waiting for feedback from users. It can be used only in Brazil, France, Germany, India, Italy, the UK and the US.

By Ben Hollom