For those not familiar, Google Trends is a free tool that allows users to explore trending search queries and compare search terms by interest over time. You can dive into geographic trends, trends by category (Shopping or Beauty & Fitness, for example), and trends by product (Web Search, Image Search, News Search, Google Shopping and YouTube Search).
Over the last 10 years, “customer service” has grown in popularity as a search term. Top searches related to “customer service” suggest that the rise in popularity could be in part due to the increase of smartphone ownership — most searched topics alongside this query include Verizon, AT&T and Sprint.
Google Trends has also compiled lists of the most popular searches in 2013, defined as search topics with the largest search volume. In the United States, the top Retail Companies searched for were:
- Amazon.com (10 years in top 10)
- Walmart (10 years in top 10)
- The Home Depot (10 years in top 10)
- Best Buy (10 years in top 10)
- Lowe’s (10 years in top 10)
- Costco (7 years in top 10)
- Sears (10 years in top 10)
- J. C. Penney (10 years in top 10)
- Kohl’s (4 years in top 10)
- Walgreens (3 years in top 10)
Of note, Amazon was the only company to score 100 out of this list of Retail Companies.
Google notes that the Trends Graphs do not represent absolute search volume numbers because the data is normalized and presented on a scale of 1 to 100.
The numbers on the graph reflect how many searches have been done for a particular term, relative to the total number of searches done on Google over time. […] Each point on the graph is divided by the highest point, or 100. When we don’t have enough data, 0 is shown.
Google also states that “a score of 100 indicates the topic with the highest search interest in a given chart. Other scores are calculated relative to the maximum of 100.”
You can dig into additional search trends at google.com/trends.