Since as far back as I can remember, Google has been the site I’ve plugged into to get accurate results for my internet searches. From “facts about Chuck Norris” to “gen Y purchase behaviours”, Google has come through with the goods.

The technology involved is vastly complicated and costs big bucks. Google, along with the other major search engines ( Yahoo, Msn, Altavista) utilise automated search technology, to build and maintain large online indexes of websites and other content and make this information freely available, nearly instantly, to anyone online. But along with recording what is available on the Internet, it is their business to record what people are looking for on the Internet.

As marketers, data like this becomes another string to our bow in terms of research and can be invaluable if used appropriately. With these tools I can tell you that in Western Australia, the search volume for “real estate” followed a particular trend over the past three years, with the highest peaks in volume occurring in early January, with smaller peaks in the months of April, June and October…or that the search volume for “Chuck Norris” quadrupled in the first quarter of 2006, with the majority of the searches coming from Poland.

Graph of search trends

Here at Jack in the box, we are always looking to the next generation of tools available to give our clients an edge in the marketplace. If you are interested in the latest in research tools available, give me a call or drop me an email and we can discuss some of the market research services we offer.

Additionally, if you want to know more about how the search engines index the pages from the Internet, Scott discusses this in his article about optimising your websites to get the better rankings in search engines.