Google has just announced an update to its Insight for Search tool which now includes predictions for future search volumes.
I thought I’d give it a quick test on a few relevant terms. First up, online PR.
According to Google, search volumes for “online PR” in the UK will reach a peak in September of this year. They will tail off dramatically in October, rise again a bit in November, fall off again at Christmas – and then reach another spike in March 2010 – but not as high as Sept 2009 (interesting to note that the graph has shown a recurring pattern over the last few years – what happens in September to spike interest in online PR? AdTech?)
As noted at the Google Research blog: “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.”
For example, anyone in the business of selling online PR services may want to focus their efforts on September 2009 and March 2010.
There are also ramifications for PR content development. You might plan to develop specific content for the future based around predicted keyword search volumes.
Of course, as ever, this all hinges on the accuracy of the predictions. And as Google are quick to point out, they are only extrapolating from previous data. Still, better than nothing.