Catching the Next Big Thing – Trend Spotting using Google Trends

What To Use

Google provides us with a free easy-to-use tools that allows us to enter search terms and assess the popularity of that term for a given time period and a given region. It’s very powerful.

It’s called Google Trends

I recommend saving it as a bookmarked site.

How to Use it

It’s easy to spot the trend after the fact. But how does one go about determining if they are about to catch a wave? How big will something actually be?

Let’s look at Bitcoin:

Search Trends for 'Bitcoin' past 12 Months
Search Trend for ‘bitcoin’. Past 12 Months

Here is that same 12 month range but with prices:

Bitcoin Price Chart
12 Month Range. Bitcoin Prices

You can see for yourself that there is something to be said about the slow build of searches until the point around the middle of November where the topic becomes really popular. (Note: 5 year range expresses this observation more so – I suggest the reader take a look)

Let’s take a look at activated charcoal:

Past 5 years. Note the steady rise before the large spike.
Amazon Dental Best Seller Rank. Time Range: time product has been listed. Note: worst rank on December 2016 (product’s launch). For the Past year it has stayed at the top.

The slow build leading to an explosion in popularity is by no means the rule of thumb for when we are trying to understand where a trend will go. However, we can appreciate the power we have thanks to Google Trends which allows us to gauge the interests people in most of the world. It shouldn’t be ignored.


When deductive reasoning can not be applied and when models that currently exist are either out of the reach of the common person or complicated to a fault; the common person turns to one of life’s answers to a chaotic environment: Empiricism.

Empiricism is a theory which states that knowledge is gained through sensory experience; life has evolved to use it to gauge the world. We observe, and we learn.

Since it’s footing, there have been many other method of reasoning and many models used to predict all sorts of things. But some are better than others and performance is dependent largely on the resources available to he or she who is attempting a prediction.

The topic of this article is a resource of immense power.


There is no one rule that guides the gauging of future popularity. Two situations are the same and thus we are subject to a chaotic system of moving parts leading to foreseen and unforeseen outcomes.

There is hope nonetheless. Empiricism is the driver of many great predictions (and many great follies); it is up to the individual to reason properly based on information gathered from his or her resources.

Google Trends is a resource everyone who want to catch a wave should hold in high regard.