Google have just rolled out a new tool called Google Correlate. It’s similar to Google Trends and Google Insights, but it takes the raw data and analyses it. As the name suggests, it’s looking for correlations – that is, whether the demand for a given keyword matches the popularity of any other keywords.
Sometimes the results are completely random, to the point of being ridiculous and far from useful for SEO. However, after a bit of testing, I’ve found out how you can use Google Correlate for keyword research.
Note that the tool is still a Google Labs project and US only, thus not really ready for prime time. On the other hand, it can already give you valuable information for your next US campaign.
After finding some useless correlations I tried to find some parallels that really mean something. So I searched for CNN on Google Correlate expecting to see a correlation of searches for other news sources.
I did indeed find that searches for CNN almost match those for MSNBC and Fox News. By ‘match’ I don’t mean the actual numbers but the tendencies. Actually, many more people look for CNN than for MSNBC, but the actual demand levels change in a corresponding manner.
What does this mean? When something newsworthy happens, people flock to the Internet and type CNN, MSNBC or Fox News into the address bar and Google searches for them.
Likewise, you can look up other matching demands. For example you can see what people search for Christmas every year.
Even more useful for keyword research is a search like [vacation] on Google Correlate. Now you can see what else people have in mind when looking for vacation:
So basically Google Correlate is great for predicting seasonal demand. Also, you can find out whether people who search for a brand search for other brands as well.
To use this for your industry you have to come up with the major generic keywords and brands that are dominating your niche and try them. Sometimes the correlations will be purely incidental. In other cases you will find out what searchers in your niche are looking for as well.