[9/2014: some tools are no longer available]
We've all heard of or used Google tools like Gmail, YouTube, Picasa, perhaps even Picknick and Image Search. But how much time do you spend using the Ngram Viewer, Trends or Insights for Search? Perhaps the answer is not as much as you should.
Here is a quick run down of five great tools to use every time you have to come up with a book title, marketing program or simply have to stay connected. Note that in some cases you will need a Google account.
Bookmark them today while you are thinking about it or bookmark this post.
This tool is intended to help advertisers understand what people are searching for so they can use those words in an ad campaign. But you'll want to use this to help you choose a good book title, or write a press release. Because your title and press release will be indexed by Google you want to make sure the words you use are the words your customers are using.
This information is very current and can change over time. That's why you should also know about:
Google Insights for Search [pictured]
This tool allows you to compare search volume patterns across specific regions, categories, time frames and types of searches. It's actually quite fun to play with. I typed in Kindle, iPad and Nook and checked U.S. searches for these terms during the past 12 months. Here's what I learned:
- People in Iowa do fewer searches for iPad than people in any other state.
- Folks in Wyoming do the most Kindle searches of all states.
- North and South Dakotans do more searches for Nook than any of the other 48 states.
I use Alerts every day to help me “listen” for specific words and phrases I'm interested in. It might be a book title, someone's name, my company name—you'd be surprised what you learn. It's like the old fashioned clipping services, only free and faster.
Trends is a little like the Keyword tool and Insights for Search only simpler. Use it to compare phrases or words over time. It graphs the results by both search volume and news references for your terms. It also gives you a list of links that may be relevant news items.
Google Ngram Viewer
Ngram graphs phrases used in all the books Google has scanned. This is a big-picture look at phrases you might wish to study.
Some books date back to 1500. To quote Google: “When you enter phrases into the Google Books Ngram Viewer, it displays a graph showing how those phrases have occurred in a corpus of books (e.g., “British English”, “English Fiction”, “French”) over the selected years.”
These Google tools are yet another fun way to kill a couple hours instead of writing.
What's your favorite Google Tool? Add it to the comments below.