Google has predicted who would become the US President since 2004

When it comes to keyword research, I recommend Google Trends over any other tool I’ve found, even the AdWords keyword planner tool. The search is more granular, and it lets me see the difference between singular and plural searches. You can even set custom dates and times now, allowing it to set up some very useful searches. There’s a reason this tool used to be called Google Insights for Search.

Google Trends is so effective that it’s actually predicted the winner of each US presidential election since 2004. Three years ago I had a suspicion that trends predict elections, and after researching the last four cycles, my theory has been proven correct.

I really didn’t want to follow this latest election so closely, but when I ran the numbers the results surprised me. I did a search on the US Election Day, up to about six hours before the polls closed. Based on the data I saw, I called a Trump victory at that time, tweeting it privately to some mates.

This is when I started looking back on other elections. I did a search for the 30 days leading up to the election in the last three races. On the day of the election, the winner’s search volume always peaks. It happened with Obama/Romney, Obama/McCain, and Bush/Kerry in 2004. Google doesn’t have data posted earlier than that, so we can’t check other election results.

What does this mean? In terms of the US elections, I’m not sure. I don’t know why more people are searching for their candidate before voting, but history shows they are. What it means for your business is that Google Trends can give you pinpoint accuracy in valuable information – information that can transform your business.

For more information, visit the StewArt website.

Jim Stewart is a leading expert in search engine optimisation. His business StewArt Media has worked with clients including Mars, M2 and the City of Melbourne.


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