Regular visitors to the Google Trends Hot Searches page were surprised this week to find Google had completely overhauled the popular feature. Alongside the revamped look and feel were a number of features designed to bring Hot Searches in line with the Google + look and feel.

There’s no word on exactly why Google implemented the changes but it’s safe to say that the making Hot Searches more easily shared on social networks was a driving force. The new look Hot Searches page features prominent social share buttons including, of course, Google +.

What Else is New?

Most of the changes to Google Trends revolve around how trends are displayed as opposed to actual functionality.

The most noticeable change is the number of hot searches displayed on the page. Hot Trends now displays only two news items and a picture (with a link) instead of the much longer list the old version displayed. It’s a clean look that’s definitely more in line with the Google + look and feel.

Regular users will also notice that the old color coded volcanic scale for measuring search hotness has been replaced with an easy-to-read numerical reference.

What’s Behind the Changes

While Google didn’t give any concrete reasons for the changes, they did have this to say in the Google Trends About page:

In June 2012, we launched a new look for Hot Searches, which provides images and direct links to the relevant news articles. This highly engaging list replaced the drilldown page, which was available in the previous versions. In the process of the redesign, we have also introduced a filtering system that helps us surface only the truly hottest stories of the day. In addition, the new list provides an indication on how many searches have been conducted on each topic. The new look is currently reflecting U.S. search data. Additional countries will be added in the future.”

What other new innovations has Google rolled out recently? Check out Google Knowledge Graph Basics.

Can’t Please Everyone

Not everyone is happy about the new changes. Some forum posters and industry watchers are lamenting the fact that fewer trends are being displayed. Back when Google Trends was first rolled out back in 2006 the service displayed 100 topics at once. That number was eventually reduced to 20 and now it’s just 3 or 4 most of the time.

What do you think of the new Google Trends overhaul? Share your opinion on our SEO Forum.


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