Google hates bloggers, and bloggers don’t seem to notice. Google Trends is not a real-time updated news trend platform.
Google is on a mission to kill the news sources for bloggers, and it seems we bloggers are as a whole too stupid to see it. In 2007, Google Trends had the top 100, then that went to 60, then 40, then 20, and now it’s almost useless. I’m going to video-blog about this later today at Zennie62.com and Zennie62 on YouTube. Bloggers should class-action sue Google for this – they want to force people to read mainstream media sites and throw bloggers out of business.
Today, the coverage of the change in Google Trends has been awful, with most media outlets praising Google for adding photos. Thankfully Search Engine Watch did notice the reduction in results, stating:
Google Hot Searches no longer features the 20 trending U.S. searches. Google has opted to remove 17 of those searches but has added related thumbnail pictures, the number of searches over 24 hours, a few related searches, and links to some news stories.
Google has never regularly given the reason for these changes in Google Trends, and in the past some, like Bob Dobalina at Yahoo Publisher Network, have assumed it was for some purpose that Google never stated, but is positive to Google, like what he wrote in 2009: “As a result, the Google Trends Top 40 features more “quality” trends instead of spammy keyword manipulation and drive-by search results such as Final Jeopardy! questions and torrent site results.” Trouble is, that was not entirely the truth then, just a view based on his read of what he thinks Google’s doing – he wasn’t a blogger in the habit of mining Google Trends to stay on top of the news cycle.
I have been, and I’ve tracked Google Trends’ changes before.
Moreover Google Trends real value when it gave 100 results is that it was a good source for blog stories for SEO purposes – bringing breaking news from a well-optimized website is a good thing. In 2009, Philippe Adjiman give the best breakdown on how to find the news clusters within Google Trends, in doing so, he completely wrecked the lazy idea that many of the Google Trends 100 results were “spammy”:
Did you noticed that among the 100 (hourly updated) Google Hot Trends, there are always several hot queries that are related one to the other?..Let’s take a look at the Hot Trends of the current hour by the time I’m writing this post: Hot Trends of September 24 at 11PM PST Time (clicking on the keywords won’t work, it is just a local copy of the file at that time). In few seconds, we can spot some similar queries, for instance Hot Trend #5 “sean salisbury” is clearly related to Hot Trend #45 “sean salisbury internet postings” and also to Hot Trend #57 “sean salisbury cell phone incident” (click the picture to enlarge)…You got it from this post title: 67.76 clusters in average (based on crawled data that represents few months of hot trends). Each cluster is supposed to represent a same “story” or breaking news. Note that this number is also dependent of my thresholds and that other algorithms and/or thresholds (more or less strict) can obtain slightly different numbers.
(Then he asks)
What It Is Useful For?
First of all it is fun . Second, in information retrieval, order is always better than the opposite. But much more than that: if you are a breaking news website or blog, you’d better use in your article all the keywords of the same cluster since they represent the hottest searched queries of that particular story represented in its cluster! From an SEO point of view, I think the interest is pretty clear.
The truth is that Google Trends was a source of the pulse of what was happening in its search engine system. Indeed, it should be a law that Google must share this kind of data to avoid having it concentrated in the hands of just a few people. Everyone should know what’s going on in the World based on what people are searching for. It’s wrong to be able to manipulate what people know, or don’t know. Google has to pay the price for being a large firm, and so far, they’re getting away with not doing so.
What Google is doing is protecting the interests of mainstream media sites by killing Google Trends – the “spammy sites” view is complete bullshit. The fact is that Google News in particular, which feeds the content that drives Google Trends, has been working to help the Old Media sites at the expense of New Media blogs and bloggers. Often, a blogger like myself could use Google Trends to keep up with, and gain traffic from, blogging on topics listed on Google Trends. Moreover, because Google Trends was updated frequently, almost in real time at one point, you could see change in the news cycle – as much as every 15 minutes.
Google has systemically worked to kill that and is now forcing you more toward Google News itself, where traditional news sites are given priority over many blogs, like TMZ.com, that break news on a daily basis.
This is an outrage and Google must be taken to task for its actions.
But you’re probably asking why Google is doing this? Simple answer: it’s the end result of legal battles with The Associated Press and other news organizations like the New York Times. It was the AP that once accused bloggers of stealing its content just by linking to it and in 2005 took on Google in court. That’s a point of view Rupert Murdoch, another Google News battler, has held and continues to hold to this year, 2012. And the New York Times became involved in a lawsuit against Google News in 2010, even as Arthur O. Sulzberger, Chairman and Publisher of The New York Times, said they have a good relationship.
Bloggers should not sit still on this.