Brand Citations and Political Farce

by Jim August 27, 2018

Had the pleasure of speaking last week at the Self-Storage Association of Australasia conference in Brisbane. It also happened to coincide with yet another Canberra coup, which seemed an opportune time to highlight the power of Google Trends and its ability to check brand strength.

What I learned

  • How to check your brand strength using Google Trends
  • Why it’s a great tool for judging public interest
  • The power of real-time popularity
  • The most Googled word in the world is a brand
  • Combine search analytics with Google Trends to create hard numbers for your business


Hey, welcome back Rankers. I was in Queensland last week, up in Brisbane, speaking at the Self-Storage Association of Australasia. Hope I got that right. Great bunch of people. And, learned a lot, actually. Saw a couple of really interesting presentations. Not about storage, just about business in general.

Brand Checking with Google Trends
But, we got talking about a couple of things around Google Trends and how we use it, and the strength of the brand, and checking your brand. And I thought this was a really interesting graphic for people who have been following along at home. Skinnymixers is a blogger whose site I worked on a couple of years ago and she’s just done extraordinary things in the thermal cooker recipe area. And basically blown all the stats away, numbers away, leading her class. But I thought, if you wanted to get an idea of someone’s brand strength, or your own brand strength and what you’re trying to do, then I’ve just gone into Google Trends and I’ve put Skinnymixers up against Nigella Lawson. If you’re a bit of a foodie, you’ll probably know who Nigella Lawson is. And also, George Calombaris, and he’s from the show, “MasterChef” and owns a bunch of restaurants in Melbourne.

And you can see here, when we look at the data, we can see here that Skinnymixers is more popular than George Calombaris, or the brand is more requested than he is. As is Skinnymixers above Nigella Lawson, apart from this peak down here, which is from the TV show “MasterChef” when she appeared on that.

So, I use Google Trends all the time to see what’s going on and to get an idea of what the zeitgeist, if you like, is talking about or is interested in. So last week was really interesting, Australia, because it was another week ending in the letter K, so when that happens, we get another Prime Minister. And, I’ve just gotta show you this. But we were sitting here in the office and we thought, “Oh, let’s have a look.” And we looked at the two words “Turnbull” and “Dutton” over the last seven days and you can see here, we’ve got this big spike when the first announcement was talked about, about the challenge to the Prime Ministership.

And then when it happened again down here, you can see that the red line, which is one politician called Peter Dutton, that is right above the blue line, which is Malcolm Turnbull. And when that happens, usually the one that’s in front, as far as having the higher volume of search, is the one that’s gonna win. But what happened in the following day and that’s what this is indicating, this was the first challenge. There were two challenges. First challenge and then they came back the end of the week and did another one. And it’s always good to get some sort of perspective when we’re talking about politics there.

And of course, it is football finals season in Australia at the moment. We are way more interested in Australian Rules football than we are politics, according to this data anyway. And it’s really healthy I think. I quite like that.

Real-Time Popularity
And of course, this is interesting. This is a bit of a reality check of everything. So our green line is Google and we can see here there’s a lot of people Googling Google. Incidentally, it the most Googled word in the world. And it’s a brand. Do you think there might be a few more other brands in Google’s database that they know about? And then we’ve got Dutton, Turnbull, and Morrison, who is now our P.M. I’ll show you show you some data on that in a second too, which is pretty funny.

But you can see these lines here, then we get the second challenge happening down here. And this was over the last four hours on Thursday. That’s one of the things I love about Trends, is you can go down to that last four hours or that last hour. Then we can have a look down here and we can see that Scott Morrison, no one knew who he was. He was pretty much flatlining. And then, there was a talk after that challenge and it occurred. People started searching for his name before it was announced in the media that he was going to be put up as a challenger to the other politicians. Don’t worry, you don’t have to know the names or what happened. It’s just the data is interesting. And then all of a sudden, people started saying, “Whoa, who’s this guy?” But it started before it was announced.

And then on Friday, I was sitting in the airport and watching what was going on, watching what was developing on the news, and then we did, look at this graph. And this was, again the last four hours, but this was on Friday. And you can see here, the whole country’s just gone, “What? Who is this bloke, Scott Morrison?” Because look at the volume of search. People had no idea who he was. Generally, I mean, the general public, ’cause our search volume shows us that, right? We’ve got this line here. This is our control group. This is Google, people Googling Google, the most Googled word in the world. And you can see, we’ve got Dutton and Turnbull right under that, even though it was the last four hours on the Friday of the election. But then after that, after it’s announced, his search volume goes through the roof.

So that’s how I use Google Trends. Now, these are all relative numbers, relative to one another. So if you want to start to get some, or put some hard numbers around this, you could do something like look at search analytics and you can Google “search console”. Look for phrases that have actually got real numbers in there and then use those as controls if you like, when you are doing Google Trends so you’ve got some idea of volume.

Hopefully, that’s helpful and we’ll see you next week. Hopefully, we won’t have a new P.M. by then. Thanks very much. Bye.

Jim’s been here for a while, you know who he is.

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