Have you checked out Google Trends yet? It’s a powerful way to find comparative information from data on Google.
For example, let’s say you’d like to know if there is more buzz on the internet about Scruggs style banjo playing or melodic style banjo playing.
Go to Google trends at http://www.google.com/trends and type your terms (from two to five different terms) in the form field, separated by a comma:
Scruggs banjo, melodic banjo
You’ll get a chart showing a summary of all the Google data concerning these topics that people have searched for on Google. It also shows how often these terms have appeared in Google News, and it divides the summary up.
Wonder if folks have been talking more about Earl or Tony Trischka over the past few years? Try:
Earl Scruggs, Tony Trischka
Or check out this search for some other interesting tidbits:
Earl Scruggs, Bill Monroe
Here, you’ll see two very popular terms and a lot of peaks in the chart. Notice the dates are at the bottom of the chart. To see what events some of the peaks coincide with, just look at the Google News chronology to the right of the chart; this shows which news items were current during some of the peaks in the chart. Cool!
If you put in terms, one of which is not a very searched-for phrase, it won’t return any data, Try this search and you’ll see:
Scruggs style, melodic style
You can find out all the specific details about how it works at http://www.google.com/intl/en/trends/about.html.