Why Google Trends Is A Lagging Indicator Behind Twitter Trends

trends-insight-twitter-searchesRecently I’ve been interested in comparing Google Trends and Twitter Trends, and what I’ve found is there is really no comparison whatsoever!

What I find is the following:

Google Trends:  A lagging indicator of what is popular on the web.  As blogs, Twitter, and other content sites launch breaking news, the word spreads and then suddently people are searching for it on Google.

So by the time people start searching for it on Google, the news has already been spreading like wildfire and the general population of the web has picked it up and is now searching for it on Google – again, Google Trends I see as a lagging indicator.

Twitter Trends:  a leading indicator of breaking news, information, and what’s happening on the web.  Since people can send updates about anything and everything, Twitter becomes a leading indicator of content on the web.

For example, the helicopter / plane crash in the Hudson River that happened over the weekend.  It was first brought to the web by @ziggfather on Twitter.

hudsonhelicopter

Then, after the @ziggfather broke the news on Twitter, the other news sources started picking it up and then much later it made it’s way onto Google Trends.

However, the good thing about Google Trends is that the content is much more solidified on the web, as opposed to Twitter, something can pop up very quickly, not pick up much speed, and then die out.

Ultimately there is value in both Google Trends and Twitter Trends, however, it is clear that Google Trends is the lagging indicators and Twitter Trends is the leading indicator.

And wow – it feels weird even typing those words, but in my opinion, it’s true!