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Monday, June 04, 2007

Is Google Hot Trends Near Real Time?

Playing around with TagTrends today, I'm noticing the Google Hot Trends data is updated fairly often. Compare the top 10 list in my last post, TagTrends Test: Mashup of Google Hot Trends + Technorati Tags, with the current top 10 list:
Google's answer to the question "How does Hot Trends work?" does indicate regular refreshes during the current day:
For each search, Hot Trends shows related searches, a search volume graph, and the top cities. We also display news, blog and web results to help give context about why a search may be appearing on the Hot Trends list today. Hot Trends is updated multiple times each day.
I wonder how close to real time the data is? Also, interesting that Hot Trends was launched just before the New York Times article, Google Keeps Tweaking Its Search Engine. That article mentions the Google concept of QDF (query deserves freshness):
The QDF solution revolves around determining whether a topic is “hot.” If news sites or blog posts are actively writing about a topic, the model figures that it is one for which users are more likely to want current information.
Hmm, each Hot Trends page includes links to blog posts and new sites. Perhaps Google is on a bit of a PR push, to show that search is still a priority and search results are not stale? BTW, that NY Times article is a great read. It's been covered by many blogs, but Rand Fishkin of SEOmoz has an excellent overview.

I'm a little puzzled by Seth Godin's Building 43 post which also discusses the article. He refers to an "SEO arms race" and seems to have an axe to grind with SEO, in general. Yes, you do have to watch out for snake oil SEO but every industry has some bad apples. Seth's comments seem particularly ironic considering this quote on the Squidoo blog (he founded Squidoo):
Squidoo is a quality site. It offers highly focused content which often rises to the top of the search engine rankings very quickly. The Squidoo site has a PR7 (Page Rank) in Google. According to Alexa, Squidoo is ranked in the top 1000 sites on the whole web.
Sounds like SEO-speak to me. Yes, I realize that post is quoting someone else, but it's posted on the official Squidoo blog. You can't benefit from SEO and then bash it at the same time. Odd. Anyway, I do like Squidoo. ;-)

Now, let's see if TagTrends has new keyword data...

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