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June 20, 2008

Google Trends Shows Traffic Stats

Google Trends no longer displays only information about searches, now you can use it to compare the daily unique visitors for two or more sites. To see the actual numbers, you need to log in using a Google account.

It's interesting to find the sources used by Google to estimate the traffic of a web site. According to the help page, "Trends for Websites combines information from a variety of sources, such as aggregated Google search data, aggregated opt-in anonymous Google Analytics data, opt-in consumer panel data, and other third-party market research. (...) Additionally, Google Trends for Websites only shows results for sites that receive a significant amount of traffic, and enforces minimum thresholds for inclusion in the tool."

For example, Google Trends estimates that the number of daily visitors for Facebook.com is 30 million, 3 times bigger than one year ago. You can also find the countries where a site is popular, related sites and searches.


One interesting tidbit: you can't see traffic data for most Google sites, although there are some exceptions. "We have policy of not providing interim financial guidance, and have decided not to release Google numbers in accordance with that policy," explained a Google spokesperson. I don't think this makes sense, as Google wouldn't release its internal traffic data, but only a rough estimation.

Google's blog for webmasters warns that the data may not be very accurate. "Keep in mind that Trends for Websites is a Google Labs product and that we are experimenting with ways to improve the quality of the data. Because data is estimated and aggregated over a variety of sources, it may not match the other data sources you rely on for web traffic information."

There are other services that show web traffic stats: Compete, Quantcast (for US traffic), Alexa, but it's difficult to compare Google's data with the information provided by those services because they use different measures: daily uniques vs monthly uniques, actual numbers vs reach, worldwide visitors vs US visitors.

21 comments:

  1. "Example.com" should have 10K visitors a day. Wow...

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  2. Don't you think that removing Google sites from this tool can be seen as "evil" ?

    Google controls a lot of information and it seems that it has no problems in filtering that information according to their interests.

    They should change their mission to "organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful, while protecting Google own interests first".

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  3. yahoo.com has around 70 million daily unique visitors.

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  4. It seems that they now allow Google sites. Nice :)

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  5. @Anonymous:
    No, they don't. I added an update with Google's position regarding this awkward filtering.

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  6. Some Google sites are still "good":

    http://trends.google.com/websites?q=feedburner.com%2C+jaiku.com%2C+grandcentral.com

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  7. what about blogspot blogs? no data for them? :(

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  8. BlogSpot blogs are hosted by Google at subdomain.blogspot.com. Google Trends doesn't show data for subdomains.

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  9. Great info, esp the reason why Google unveils its properties.

    But I want to know the exact source of this confirmation. Is it from nytimes?

    Thanks and best wishes,

    Du Nguyen

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  10. @Du Nguyen:
    The source is Google Corporate Communications.

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  11. We already wrote some parameters to use it in SeoQuake (FireFox seo plugin), so you can see all Gtrends data in SERP or when you are visiting site. . You can get it here http://addons.seoquake.com/params/index.php?sln=en&browse=2&tag=google&res_lim=10

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  12. I think that most of you are simply complaining that Google didn't think about your specific needs. Singled out Google Trends is a great tool that supports a wide spectrum of marketing services. Perspectively in terms of data as well as relevance. The add-ons that Google has also conjured up make even more streamlined for the regular everday users like yourselves.

    Although I would tend to agree with the Anonymous post above in regards to Google's new motto.

    Just as well they have provided you with a great resource which allows you to put anything head to head in terms of visibilty and market demand, even as to where it is relevant.

    I did a fun video recently on how this looks so that even a beginner could see how powerful a resources Using Google Trends is using the election as an example here... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5b-ApVSmlfc

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  13. Google trends is a pretty cool tool it saves you time optimizing for keywords for geographical areas that you don't need to. It helps you find seasonal data which is invaluable. It is a great niche research and keyword tool.

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  14. The journey of Alexa- The Web Information Company has never been a smooth one. Alexa that has been in the scenario almost from the start of the Web had seen immense growth and popularity and then a pretty morbid phase. However, it went back to the drawing board and sketched out new ways to pull back the company to steadiness. Several new innovations and changes have been made to Alexa since the time of its inception partly to stay in sync with the changing times and demands and partly to combat its competitors. As for example, till some time back the popularity of various websites was measured by the data collected from the users of the Alexa toolbar. However, the company went for a change in April 2008. Today other factors, apart from the Alexa toolbar, are also taken into account to determine the popularity and traffic of a given website. However, the point to ponder is that the “other sources” that are determinant of a websites Alexa rankings are not clearly cut out. They are vague and misty. Nevertheless, Alexa is still one of the most credible and powerful players of the web.

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  15. Google trends is a wonderful cool tool it saves you time optimizing for same keywords for geographical areas that you don't need to.
    The source is Google Corporate Communications is the never ended.google is the very good engine.

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  16. wow! nice info...
    is ther any way to know how many times a keyword sholud contain in the content?

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  17. How are the 'categories' in Google Trends arrived at?
    I was researching on health insurance, which, in google trends belongs to two categories viz. Health & Insurance. But, the keyword Health Insurance throws very different results in both the categories.

    So, how is it that google is able to categorize Health Insurance in both the categories??? On a macro level, i believe what would answer my dilemma is: What is the methodolgy & logic of these categories on google trends???

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  18. I simply love this tool I agree that Mr G controls a lot of info but they give a lot of info for free that others charge

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  19. This is great, and it was working great for me. However, after a few calls in an iterative script, I started getting a 503 Service Unavailable message. I'm guessing they figured out I was running a script. Any idea how to get around this?

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  20. I'm curious why this data is not accurate. are they afraid this may be manipulated in some way do you think?

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  21. Google trends is really a useful tool for all webmasters. The only thing lacking is that it dont show trends of all the particular countries. I guess, currently it shows Trends from only two countries, US and Indai.
    Is there any plan to set up Google trends from all other countries?

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