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Google Zeitgeist: what does it mean?

After our post revealing the Google Zeitgeist 2008, we thought we’d take a closer look at the list and the implications it holds for search advertising and online marketing.

The significance of Google, the internet’s biggest search provider, revealing their most popular search terms should not be underestimated. This year, Google’s share of the UK search market edged closer to a staggering 90 per cent (enjoying a rise of almost ten per cent from 2007). Which means that the most popular search terms on Google can pretty much be read as the most popular search terms among the UK population.

By looking at patterns emerging from Google search, companies and online marketers can second guess upcoming movement in the internet sphere. Google knows this; they’ve even got a whole set of tools dedicated to helping those working in SEO and PPC spot developments: Google Trends.

Looking at the latest Zeitgeist – peppered as it is with the likes of ‘Facebook’, ‘YouTube’ and ‘Bebo’ – shows that social networking and user-generated content, both tenets of the ‘Web 2.0’ revolution, are still high on the agenda of internet users.

Those working in online marketing, SEO and PPC can use information like this to inform future thinking. Does the popularity of social networking sites like Facebook imply that it is worthwhile pursuing pay per click campaigns on these sites? How about YouTube’s strong showing? Should we invest resources in creating SEO video content, if that is what people want? Ultimately, we must consider the bigger picture.

This year, search grew by three per cent in the US (by contrast, searches carried out on Google grew by 16 per cent). The ever-growing search market represents a direct line between consumers and businesses. Customers’ searches reveal their interests and desires, and with more people using search than ever before, companies have unprecedented access to their target audience’s needs.

By analysing trends and acting appropriately, those working in online marketing, PPC and SEO can optimise their output to be more effective for themselves, their clients and potential customers.

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