UPDATE: For a more current list see my newer post: The Best Tools for Keyword Research, Competitive Analysis and Trending Topics.
A tactic that some news and content sites employ is monitoring Google’s Hot Trends list in an effort to identify hot topics and then quickly produce matching content around them.
Does this work? Sometimes. Many search trends come and go quickly so sites that cover a topic after its peak will likely miss out on the larger search engine visibility opportunity. As I covered in my post on dealing with seasonal search declines it’s not easy to chase search trends because there is a danger of always ending up one step behind.
But occasionally a search trend has greater sustainability or fits well into a particular site’s area of coverage, in which case jumping in and producing related content can really pay off.
So how do you monitor these trends? The major engines all produce some form of hot topic/trend list and several third-party and social media sites do as well. You can also use keyword and reputation monitoring tools, real-time search tools and popular/meme lists for articles, tweets, social media submissions, etc.
Here are some free resources for identifying hot topics and search trends. I’ve primarily stuck to aggregated trend/topic lists to keep the list manageable.
Free trend tools frequently come and go especially in the social space, so I’ll try to update this list periodically. My most recent update is August 2012.
If you know of any others please let me know.
- Google Hot Searches (also a list on the Google Trends home page)
- Google Insights for Search: “Rising searches” for last 7 days
(also check the rising searches for specific terms)
- Google News (left sidebar: see Top Stories; click on category names or more)
- Yahoo! Search Clues
- Yahoo Buzz Index
- Bing Top Image Searches
(click on an image to see top search queries associated with it)
- AOL Search Trends
- IceRocket: Popular (left sidebar)
Real-time / Social Search
- Bing Social: Trending Topics
- Social Mention: Trends
- Addict-o-matic: Hot Topics
- 48ers – Trending Topics
- Sency (filter by 32 major cities)
- Social Buzz – Trending Now
- Twitter home page (left sidebar; can refine by location)
- Twitter Search: Trending Topics
- Topsy (home page and Trending page)
- What the Trend
- Twitscoop: Hot Trends (click on link in top navigation)
- Trendsmap (real-time local Twitter trends)
- Google+ (Trending Now module on home page when signed in)
- Topsy: Google+ Trending
- Google+ Social Statistics: Most Popular Posts/a> (currently broken?)