Today, at its second annual Press Day, Google unveiled Google Trends, the latest project to percolate from Google Labs. While I am always interested in the new products coming out of Google, this latest one has me really excited. And, once I show you how Google Trends can impact your law practice, I hope you will share my excitement as well.
First, let’s take a look at the Google Trends home page. Right below the Google logo is the familiar search box. To view the charts for different search terms, enter each of the terms separated by a comma in the search box and click on the Search Trends button.
First, let’s say you are a personal injury lawyer who handles asbestos cases. Two keywords that you would probably be interested in is asbestosis and mesothelioma. So, you type these two terms into Google Trends and retrieve the Asbestosis versus Mesothelioma traffic chart.
The legend indicates that the blue line maps the asbestosis traffic and the red line maps the mesothelioma traffic. The top graph charts search volume, while the bottom graph charts news volume. In addition, Google has plotted how news stories have impacted the search volume.
Google Trends also identifies the location where most of the searches for these two terms are originating—Charleston. If you want to refine your search (instead of all years and all regions), you can limit the results to come from a specific month or year and a specific country.
Let’s run a different search. Here’s the Vioxx, Celebrex and Bextra traffic chart. As you can see, the search volume for the three NSAIDs look approximately the same. However, each of the NSAIDs have an event-driven pop in traffic, with the one for Vioxx being the largest. This occurred when Merck withdrew Vioxx from the market.
To get a more detailed view, I limited the trend history to 2006. In this graph, you can see that there were more searches for Celebrex (red), than Vioxx (blue) or Bextra (Orange), even though the news volume for Vioxx was the greatest.
Let’s look at one more graph. For those that practice family law, how should you describe your practice on your web site? Are you a divorce lawyer? A divorce attorney? A family law attorney? A family law lawyer?
The trend history shows that divorce attorney (red) edges divorce lawyer (blue) by a slight margin. And both of them are searched more frequently than either family law attorney (orange) and family law lawyer (green).
If we look at the statistics on a regional basis, we can variances in search volume by location. So, the chart first shows us that there are a lot of people in Minneapolis looking for a divorce, and these Minnesotans are searching for a divorce attorney more frequently than a divorce lawyer. However, if you look at New Yorkers, they are searching for a divorce lawyer more frequently than a divorce attorney. So, depending on the location of your family law practice, you may want to optimize your web site for divorce lawyer instead of divorce attorney.