NEWS21 August 2009

Google adds forecasting to search insights

Data analytics North America

US— Google’s free Insights for Search tool has been updated to include a forecasting feature which predicts future web searching trends based on historical data.

A post on the company’s research blog announcing the change said: “Having predictable trends for a search query or for a group of queries could have interesting ramifications. One could forecast the trends into the future, and use it as a ‘best guess’ for various business decisions such as budget planning, marketing campaigns and resource allocations. One could identify deviation from such forecasting and identify new factors that are influencing the search volume.”

Google sets out its work in this area in a paper published this week.

The firm has analysed historical data for various search terms, or categories of terms, in order to determine which ones are ‘predictable’ enough to allow forecasting. Some terms are easier to predict than others, it said, because they are influenced by seasonal changes and exhibit repetitive patterns. More than half of its most popular terms turned out to be predictable over a one-year period, Google said.

The number of languages in which the tool is available has also been increased to 39.