Marketing is often about getting involved in the next big thing, and search engine optimization is no different. Trending topics, or topics likely to see increased search activity in the very near future, can be then perfect way to optimize for searchers looking for applicable, topical information, and timely information. Addressing trending topics in your SEO efforts can net you exponential organic growth. Google’s new index prioritized timely articles in two ways. First, the Google News module places recent news stories at the top of the index. At the bottom of the first page results, Google places trending social media topics, like Twitter and Facebook posts. In this article, we will discuss the types of trends that are commonly used and tools that you can use to discern new trending topics.
Short-Term Trending Topics
Google’s new index prioritizes non-index results, like news stories and trending social media stories. Writing relevant, timely articles about trending Twitter hashtags or news stories can be the source of wide organic traffic.
Articles should be keyword optimized for common search results. For example, an article about the 2012 Republican Primary should be optimized for a long-tail keyword that a news searcher might use. A good example might be “last night’s debate performance results.”
The easiest way to address recent, topical information in your niche is to set up a Google Alert for keywords you are interested in targeting. This will deliver relevant news to your inbox in a daily digest, allowing you to write daily summary articles about news stories and press releases.
See if these news alerts received in your digest are important enough to influence Twitter’s trending hashtags topics. It isn’t vital, but if a news story receives enough social media discussion, it will also receive an additional spot on Google’s first page index under the social media feed.
Long-Term Trending Topics
Addressing long-term trending topics early can put you ahead of your competition in search engine optimization results. Since part of Google’s algorithm prioritizes pages based on their creation date, you can optimize for keywords first by being one of the leaders in your field and keeping an eye on trending topics.
Google maintains a list on long-term search trends at google.com/trends. Here, you can find both emerging topics as well as examine the number of searches on certain keywords in a longitudinal timeline.
For more in-depth analysis of trends, Google Insight allows you to break down searches by date, location, and by comparison. For example, you can analyze and compare the search activity for two terms, like “Toyota” and “Honda” in the U.S. automotive industry in the last three months to see which keyword is more useful for your demographic targeting efforts. Watching the peaks and valleys of these search results can influence whether you should focus your SEO efforts on Toyota or Honda models, maximizing the value of your marketing budget.
Focusing on Downward-Trending Topics
When considering long-term trends, remember that keywords can go down in search traffic as well as up. Google Insights can help you learn what terms you should be targeting as well as help you decide what terms are no longer producing the organic traffic necessary to focus your SEO efforts on.
The tools above can also help you discover if your keywords are becoming unpopular search. For example, compare the Google Insights keywords “iPad” and “iPod”. In early 2011, there were more searchers looking for iPads than iPods, so marketing efforts for an Apple Rumors blog targeted toward the iPod Touch would receive less traffic than iPad-targeted news.
October 10, 2011 at 8:24 am
This is great insight here, thanks a lot. Identifying the trends for Google is not easy, but if updates like these keep coming, they become very helpful to identify the trends.
October 10, 2011 at 5:53 pm
Thanks a lot Addy. Unfortunately SEO is ever changing and impossible to nail down, so it is up to all of us in the community to identify best practices. I appreciate the comment.
October 10, 2011 at 1:17 pm
This is also why many people blog about a trending topic sometimes even though it is not related to his blog’s theme.
October 10, 2011 at 5:54 pm
This is very true Victoria. Bloggers have to stay relevant in order to keep their audience educated as well as entertained.
October 11, 2011 at 12:41 am
Agreed, however, I think most trending topics can be linked to suit one’s niche one way or the other. For example, if Lady Gaga wins MTV award, a fashion blogger could write something in the lines of “Lady Gaga’s Unusual Meat Dress At MTV Awards”, while a tech blogger could say something like “HiTech Stage Lighting Steals The Show As Lady Gaga Wins Award” etc etc.
October 16, 2011 at 5:40 am
nice observations.. and nice way to cloak the scheme with your own them as well.. 🙂
October 10, 2011 at 10:38 pm
Solid advices for an important point to catch traffic, it isn’t easy. I tried once and I didn’t have luck. Also I think that in some niches perhaps is easier than social, mmo and blogging-niches where there are big guys, all the time, doing that 🙂
October 11, 2011 at 12:37 am
Gera, this is definitely true. If you’re in a niche that doesn’t really make headline news often, it takes much more research and creativity to jump on to trends. Really, creativity can go a long, long way.
October 11, 2011 at 12:46 am
Rightly put; “creativity” is the word I was looking for in my reply to Victoria above. Creativity is very important if you must stand out from the crowd.
October 11, 2011 at 6:02 am
I would also second this, because creativity is the tool that will sharpen and polish the edges for a trending topic. To make a niche topic trending it takes a lot of well researched information placed interestingly.
October 13, 2011 at 9:58 pm
Addy, I couldn’t agree with you more!
October 11, 2011 at 2:44 am
good trends can be good source for SEO if you have good writing skill in your niche.
October 13, 2011 at 10:00 pm
Quality content is always a must. I believe that will always be a staple of SEO for years and years to come. Thanks for the comment Maja.
October 11, 2011 at 1:24 pm
wow now trends can be identified very easily. thanks for informing us by installing that.
October 17, 2011 at 8:06 pm
October 11, 2011 at 3:29 pm
It takes much more research and creativity to jump on to trends. Really, creativity can go a long, long way..Thanks a lot for informing this..
October 13, 2011 at 10:01 pm
No problem Ashley. Thanks for the comment!
October 14, 2011 at 11:00 pm
nice article, gave me lots of ideas too. but I don’t think I’ll something out of topic from my blog.. maybe. 😉
October 17, 2011 at 8:06 pm
Thanks for the comment Jorge! Glad I could help!
December 15, 2011 at 7:36 am
Good post. I guess that’s the best and worst thing about topics on the internet. It’s just like fashion, what is good today might not be the same way tomorrow. Just need to keep ourselves updated to keep up with these changes. We can also do that by visiting other blogs or forums, places where we can get new information from.