Google Revamps 'Google Trends,' Adds Monthly Charts and Visualization Tool

New feature will monitor trends over 40 different categories in 11 countries.

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Google has found a new way to help Internet users capitalize on all that data it pulls in from search queries.

The tech giant unveiled a new feature in its Google Trends service that allows people to monitor the hottest searches over a variety of different topics.

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The "top charts" feature is reminiscent of Google's "Year End Zeitgeist," but breaks trends down by month, going all the way back to 2004. Topics range from top athletes to animals, space objects to sports cars and includes three separate categories for cocktails, drinks and whiskeys. The updated service will track 40 different categories across 11 countries.

Each category is displayed on the Trends homepage with its top 5 related search terms. Users can then extend each list to the top 10, which gives additional information on each term or subject.

Some of the trends reveal some interesting data about searches taking place this month: Michael Jordan beats Kobe Bryant and LeBron James as the top athlete trend despite Jordan retiring over a decade ago and Arnold Schwarzenegger is the top trending "U.S. Governor" despite leaving office in early 2011.

The new feature is built on top of Google's Knowledge Graph, which allows the service to hone trends beyond simple search terms. A blog entry from Google further explains:

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...the data shows interest in real-world things, not just keywords. When you look at a chart of sports teams and you see the Golden State Warriors, those rankings are based on many different related searches, like [gs warriors], [golden state bball] and [warriors basketball]. That way you see which topics are most popular on Google Search, however people search for them.

Google also rolled out a full-screen visualization tool that shows the hottest search trends by country.

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