Google Trends recently released the Year in Search 2022. The report shows the top searches, news, people, games, movies, and more, based on Google’s interest rating. The nice thing about this is you can explore any of these areas further. This can be a useful SEO tool for companies trying to keep track of their competition and general interest in their market category.
To demonstrate this, I wanted to look at one of the top trending searches for 2022- ‘Wordle’.
Some Background on the Data
By now most people know about the popular New York Times word game. However, there’s more to the story related to how Wordle was created. The game was first released in October 2021 by Josh Wardle, a software engineer in Brooklyn. At the time, he designed the game for him and his partner to play during the COVID-19 Pandemic. It wasn’t until this year that Wardle sold his game to the NY Times and since then popularity has surged.
I pulled the Google Trends data for 2022 for Wordle and I took a look at the overview.
Something that stood out to me was the interest by subregion. The state with the highest interest in Wordle for the year was Vermont. Since Wordle was developed in NY, I was surprised that I didn’t even see NY on the list of the top five states by interest. That’s when I decided I wanted to dig into the data.
Wordle: NY vs VT
The first thing I did was export the search interest data for Wordle in NY and VT. Once I had the data in a neat excel file, I was ready to look at it closer.
I’m a data nerd, so I had some fun visualizing the data with Python. Basically, I created a line graph for the year and plotted the interest level for NY and Vermont. The graph is shown below:
I added a couple of quick annotations to make it easier to see my callouts. First, NYT acquired Wordle on 1/31/22. Not surprisingly, the highest spike in interest occurred first in NY, which can be seen on the blue point shortly after the acquisition. What I found interesting is that the trends for NY and VT were similar up until about May 2022.
I searched for ‘Vermont Wordle May 2022’ and found a ton of news articles…
It appears that an analysis was completed around that time which found that people from Vermont were searching for Wordle answers more than any other region. The thing is, the previous analysis doesn’t tell the whole story.
The study by WordfinderX focused on which states searched for ‘Wordle answers’. However, this doesn’t account for the difference in the baseline interest in Wordle. Based on my findings, VT’s general interest in the game (not just the answers) is trending above even that of NY. This means that even though more people from VT searched for “Wordle answers” in May, their interest in the game remained higher than average for the remainder of the year.
What Does This Mean for SEO?
You might be wondering what this means for SEO–as you should. There are a few takeaways from this that can be applied to SEO analyses:
Baseline differences can change the results of an analysis
Making predictions is the key to staying ahead
Don’t be too quick to draw conclusions
If you’re looking for trending search terms in your area, you need to account for other factors that impact the starting point. For instance, one might look at the fact that VT ‘had the most cheaters’ for Wordle in May and think that generating content around that topic is a sure win. However, if we look at my graph of VT vs NY, you can see that general interest in Wordle (according to Google searches) has decreased since that time. Therefore, it makes more sense to look at which search terms are emerging around the time that Wordle is declining. If a company wants to stay ahead, they need to look at what is to come in the search landscape rather than hang on to what has already happened.
Find an Educated SEO Partner
This simple SEO analysis can easily be applied to a range of businesses. In fact, this is just the beginning. Whether it’s looking at competitors, up-and-coming search terms, or market expansion opportunities, Google Trends is an important data source for companies looking to move up the SERP. If you’re interested in working with Hire a Writer to enhance your SEO strategy, contact us today.