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Top Searches, Up to the Minute

Google is very fond of their visualizations, from their special doodles that pay tribute to the history of a day to silly tricks embedded in their search function (type “do a barrel roll” into a search). Another thing the company is fond of is their data. They track search data for a variety of functions such as targeted advertisements or tailored search results.

Combining these two passions is a new feature in one of their data analytic sections, Google Trends. While users have been able to view the most popular searches from the day, week, or year in neat graphs for a while now, they now have the ability to see the most searched terms pop up live in front of them.

The “Hot Searches” visualization shows a grid of squares the size of your choosing, depicting the most searched items at that moment. You can pick what region to look at, generating an interesting look at what different parts of the world are curious about. For instance, searches from some regions are more focused on soccer (with results in other alphabets and languages) while those in North America were more centered around newly released movies or the NBA and NHL playoffs.

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The squares change and shift constantly, which makes it a little tough to look at for more than a minute or two. Regardless, it’s a cool, colorful view of the current trends online.


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