Borrowing Google Trends Big Data

I’ve been using Google Trends for several years now for clients in an attempt to understand seasonality, industry trends, and search trends, but it recently dawned on me that I can use Google Trends personally, as well as professionally.

As most of you know, I’m a data junky. But I’m also a fashion junky, and I get REALLY excited when my two (very different) worlds collide:

Data & Fashion

Each season, designer sale comes around, and in most cases it goes just as quickly. In order to grab the best deals, you basically need to predict when sales will happen. This last sale season I realized that if I used data, I could predict when the next sale season would occur. Enter Google Trends.

When’s the next sale?

By analyzing the peaks and valleys of the search query “Nordstrom Sale” (or “Barneys Sale”, or “Saks Sale”, etc ) we can predict with a fair amount of certainty that Nordstrom’s next sale will occur in July.

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Catching up to a Changing Search Lexicon

Just as our spoken language has evolved from “barf me out“, “cowabunga“, and “getting jiggy“, our search language has evolved from the “keyword”, or at least how we think about it.

Search is in a constant state of change. Google is updating their search engine to the tune of 2 algorithm updates a day. We’ve gained the ability to search by voice, search in app, and search our own private results. Google is offering up predictive search results in the form of Google Now, and we’ve trained ourselves to speak to our devices as if they were more than just circuits and software, as if they were our friends.

If we don’t search the way we did a decade ago, should we write or optimize content the way we did a decade ago?

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It’s hard to put into words how grateful I am for all those that have taken a chance on me over the  last 5 1/2 years, as I’ve been finding my place within the digital marketing/inbound marketing/SEO community. It’s been a whirlwind of learning, growth, and excitement, and I wouldn’t trade the experiences I’ve had or the people I’ve met for the world.

I’m especially thankful that my path has crossed with  AJ Wilcox, Bart Gibby, and Nicole Bullock, all of whom I consider to be both mentors and friends. AJ, who took a chance on me when we were both working at OrangeSoda, teaching me HTML, SEO basics, and critical thinking. Bart, who instilled the value of a data driven culture into me. And Nicole, who invited me to speak by her side and join her at SMX West, both of which have opened new and exciting doors for me.  But above all I’m grateful for Polson DeMott, who has provided nothing but encouragement and support.

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How Will Google’s 2013 I/O Change Local Marketing?

I’m a digital marketer, but I’m also a Google user, and Google’s Keynote at the 2013 I/O conference got both sides of me really excited about local marketing and all the changes, upgrades, and opportunities we’ll be seeing rolled out over the coming months. So how will Google’s announcements at the 2013 I/O affect your local marketing strategy? Let’s talk about it.


It’s no surprise mobile is growing. More and more people are using their mobile devices as a primary computing device, and the number of Android phones on the market has risen to over 900 million devices. There was a huge focus on mobile devices at Google’s I/O. In fact, they don’t acknowledge desktops once during the conference, it’s all laptops, tablets, and phones.  To really drive the point home, Google announced three major local APIs for developers, Fused Location Provider, Geo-Fencing, and Activity Recognition.

Fused Location Provider:

Hugo Barra announcing Fused Location Provider at Google's 2013 I/O Keynote

Hugo Barra announcing Fused Location Provider at Google’s 2013 I/O Keynote

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Improving Social Media Strategy With Data

Social Media platforms are just digital representations of real life events or situations. Facebook is the high school yearbook we dust off to look up old flames. Pinterest is our idea board, mapping out our next home design project or fashionable ensemble. YouTube is our family vacation footage that we proudly force upon share with our neighbors (or possibly the newest reincarnation of America’s Funniest Home Videos). Twitter is actually a public facing version of an already digital situation: texting.

We often think of Social Media as a place to shout our opinions, calls to action, and self promotion, but we wouldn’t behave this way in traditional social settings, and we shouldn’t behave this way online. As digital marketers, it’s our responsibility to be where our users are, to provide useful and engaging content, and connect with our users on their level. We should be building upon techniques normally found in traditional marketing to achieve our goals. Through the use of demographics, user data, and free online tools, we can make sure that our advertising efforts are tuned in to the right channels.

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