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Using Google Insights as a metric for marketing


Google Insights for Search is a great tool to discover useful (as well as useless) information about who’s using Google, what they’re using it for, and the search terms they employ to find what they’re looking for. You can program it any which way. I tinkered around with it the other day and thought you all might be interested in what I dug up.

Interest over time: This tracks the number of searches over time. (Google explains that they don’t provide absolute numbers, just a relationship between the total number of searches, and the number of searches for a particular term, in this case “wine.”) During the past year, the number of searches using “wine” remained steady, except for a huge spike during the Holidays.

Regional interest for “wine”:
This depends on the geographic parameters you request. For worldwide searches, the number one country that searched Google for “wine” was New Zealand, closely followed by United States and then, in descending order, Australia, United Kingdom and South Africa. But if you search only within the U.S., the top results are New York, followed by California, District of Columbia and Oregon. (To me, this suggests that people were looking for places to buy wine, not where it was grown.) However, the top city in the world where searches for “wine” was launched was — ta da!San Francisco, followed by New York, Pleasanton (what?!?), Seattle, D.C., L.A., Sydney, Chicago and Melbourne.

Pleasanton? WTF?

Top search terms related to “wine” in the U.S.: In descending order, red wine, white wine, wines, wine bar, food and wine, wine tasting, wine bottle and wine festival. Nothing unusual there, except, maybe, that “wine bar” was in fourth place. Sweet.

Top search terms related to “wine,” worldwide: red red wine (not a typo), wine bar (!!!!), white wine, wine linux (I think “wine” is an operating system of some kind), wine tasting, ubuntu wine, food and wine, new wine.

Rising searches in the U.S.: Not the greatest number, but coming on strong: wine aerator, vinturi wine aerator, barefoot wine (good for Gallo), total wine delaware, wine library tv, sangria wine, sangria, mulled wine recipe and bevmo. (Sangria got there by having a humungous number of hits last June/July, suggesting the coming of summer had people looking for cool alcoholic beverages to drink.)

I changed the search term from “wine” to “wine blog.” Most of the searches for this term originated in the U.S., followed by Canada, the U.K., South Africa, Singapore, New Zealand, the Netherlands and Italy. Within the U.S., the greatest number of searches for “wine blog” was launched from California, as you’d expect, but — hold onto your hats — the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th highest were from the “W” states: Wyoming, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Washington. (Memo to Google: Can this possibly be true?) After that, Vermont, Virginia, Utah and Texas. New York not even in the top ten? What’s up with that?

Search terms related to “wine blog” within the U.S.: None. “Not enough search volume to show results.” Lest we wine bloggers get swelled heads and think everyone is looking for us, consider the fact that, umm, they’re not.

You can play with Google Insights for Search yourself, using any search term you want. For example, I entered “wine brands” for worldwide searches. The top countries of origin were India, the U.S., Australia, Canada and the U.K., but also on the top ten were Singapore, Philippines and Malaysia. This strongly underscores the emerging importance of the Asian markets.

By the way, if you’re wondering what vinturi wine aerator and ubuntu wine are (I certainly did), click on the links and find out. (Blog disclosure: The Vinturi Wine Aerator is sold through Wine Enthusiast Catalog, a fact I did not know until I wrote this post.)

Incidentally, I searched for “wine ratings” and here in the U.S., Wine Enthusiast beat out Parker! We’re #7, he’s #8. Worldwide, though, he beats us, #6 to our #8.

  1. Red Red Wine –

    Refers to the Neil Diamond song – I bet.

    UB40 also did a cover of it.

  2. This was called Google Trends when it was launched in beta in ’07. They told me “don’t do your PhD on it!” But I, like you, had great fun. I searched out the “top” city in each state at the time and opined about why (one town had 108 people…). Then, and, I assume, now, it is tied to where IPs are located and other proprietary magic. It is naturally better when there is a news spike and large numbers of hits (try Amy Winehouse) but still produces oddities. Go to, search google trends.

  3. Morton Leslie says:

    I was a little disappointed that Morton Leslie only had 43 searches. Worse, most of that may have been people confused about salt.

  4. Maybe wine software is based in Cupertino?

    Josh asked me to email you about Monday, so I will.

  5. Great ideas, Steve. Thanks!

  6. Hi Dr. H., we spoke on the phone about Monday.

  7. Lisa Mattson says:

    Fascinating, Steve — especially the 2nd, 3rd, 4th states in searches for “wine blog.”

    Re: Pleasanton: come on. They’ve got a Macaroni Grill and an On the Border — in the same strip mall. Pleasanton has now officially arrived.

  8. This is the first time I comment here and I must say you share genuine, and quality information for other bloggers! Good job.
    p.s. You have an awesome template . Where did you find it?

  9. Automotive, the template is Word Press.

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