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Claire Magazine – Trending Content Initiative

In the fast-paced world of digital journalism there is one question that has been left answered. What news is important to viewers and what news is not? For most digital journalist the answer has always been “Report It all & fast” and let the viewers sort it out (Can anyone say OVERLOAD).

The truth is, about 72% of us miss what news is trending daily because of the digital news overload – There has to be a better way!

Given all the technology tracking, analytics, intelligence and trending data that we in the digital journalism sector gather and analyze on a daily basis there has to be a way to deliver you the information you want in a intelligent and efficient manner. It’s time to get a grip on the information overload and to narrow down what people are really finding important in real-time.

Up till now information leaders or content delivery systems such as Google, Facebook and others have been leveraging their user trend data to present you relative advertising content or guess what you may be possibly searching for.

Claire Magazine believes that News agencies have fallen short in this respect. The focus has always been Content Delivery (Amount Of Content + Speed) NOT Content Intelligence Delivery (Complete Trending Content + User Interest + Speed).

There are billions of digital news, articles, pictures, thoughts, opinions, videos, likes, pins etc. that are produced by billions of people not inclusive of all the blogs, news agencies and lets not forget all the individual content we view each day on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest as well as all the other social media outlets that are evolving each and every day as well.  The Information Superhighway is open and there are very few stop lights to contend with, where do these roads lead to or where are the off ramps to stop and enjoy what everyone is talking about?

I am sure we can all agree that we spend entirely too much time “Browsing Life instead of living it” until we become tired, confused, frustrated or board with the sure overload of it all.

What if we as digital journalist could determine what information was relative or important each day by what YOU and OTHERS are searching for across the web in Real Time?

Claire Magazine believes there IS a scientific solution to mapping out the content overload, By leveraging “Trending Data” and providing a complete, unbiased news and media delivery system based entirely on what you and others are finding important online in real time.

What is “Trending Data” and where do we find it? Wikipedia says “Trend analysis. … Although trend analysis is often used to predict future events, it could be used to estimate uncertain events in the past, such as how many ancient kings probably ruled between two dates, based on data such as the average years which other known kings reigned”.

Where can we find “Trending Data”? Luckily, one of the largest if not the largest information provider (GOOGLE) collects all each and click data within their network. They also are collecting, analyzing and building intelligent information systems based on “Trending Data” and best of all it’s FREE.

So what are you and others searching for? Look in the header of this page and see what people are searching for on Google.com in realtime. Crazy…Right?

  • Mouseover the lower left hand corner to change search region
  • Mouseover any box and click for search term
  • Mouseover top right and download the realtime screensaver for your computer
  • Mouseover top left to choose screen grid size

Now the question is; How do we get from search data to trending data across the net?

Claire Magazine – Understanding how to work with Trend Data

Since the Google search engine is dominating the internet search market, statistical data about search keywords can be very insightful. I was amazed when I first discovered Google Trends and I still think that it is a very powerful tool for marketers, researchers, website owners, and SEO experts. The tool has expanded quite a bit over the years and now you can do much more than just see the top 10 most popular keywords. Apart from viewing the latest hot searches and the most popular phrases over the last month, you can now see these top keyword trends in a cool visualization.

If you select specific keywords, you can compare and chart up to 5 keywords over time and see the top and rising related searches. You can even filter by location, time, category, and type of search (web, image, news, shopping, or YouTube) or compare keywords by location or time range.Adding to this, Google has added Top Charts which shows you most searched and trending keywords per category and you can filter or segment the data based on any time in the past.

There is a ton that you can do with this data but isn’t it really annoying that there is no official Google Trends API? We do have the hot trends atom feed and that gives you 20 trends with approximate traffic numbers and related news items. This would be good for building a little widget but it leaves a lot to be desired in terms of serious keyword and market analysis. So, today, I will dig in, sniff some network traffic and figure out what kind of calls are made between the browser and Google servers to provide this trending keyword data programatically.

As the picture of this post shows, I was initially interested in automatically generating a comparison chart between a few keywords. It turns out that there is a simple API for this that works with a GET request and will respond with a nice chart of keyword comparison over time.

Open a new tab with this url: http://www.google.com/trends/fetchComponent?hl=en-US&q=html5,jquery&cid=TIMESERIES_GRAPH_0&export=5&w=500&h=300 and you will see a nice chart comparing html5 to jquery. You can add up to 5 keywords, so the basics of this GET call are:

  • URI http://www.google.com/trends/fetchComponent
  • hl en-US
  • q keywords
  • cid TIMESERIES_GRAPH_0
  • export 5
  • w width
  • h height

You can modify the width and height and provide up to 5 keywords (comma separated) to quickly chart up and compare various search trends. What about related searches? The URI is still the same but some of the parameters change to retrieve a list of related queries to your original keyword. Open a new tab with this url:

http://www.google.com/trends/fetchComponent?hl=en-US&q=html5,jquery&geo=US&cid=RISING_QUERIES_0_0 and you will see 10 related

searches to html5. Here is the breakdown of the GET request:

  • URI http://www.google.com/trends/fetchComponent
  • hl en-US
  • geo US
  • q keywords
  • cid RISING_QUERIES_0_0

You can modify the keywords and RISING_QUERIES_0_0 (as well as geo if you care about search trends outside of United States). To see the related queries of the second keyword on your list, you just increment the middle zero in RISING_QUERIES_0_0. For example, the previous link was comparing html5 to jquery and we saw related searches to html5 but you could grab the related searches to jquery with this url:

http://www.google.com/trends/fetchComponent?hl=en-US&q=html5,jquery&geo=US&cid=RISING_QUERIES_1_0.

Now, lets look at the cool hot trends visualization. It actually pulls keyword data from a url that responds with a nice JSON list of top 20 trends for various locations:

http://hawttrends.appspot.com/api/terms/.

This is probably the best way to pull the hot searches but if you need more data, you could make a call to the hottrends/hotItems URI. This, unfortunately, needs to be a POST call so you will have can’t see it in a browser, but if you have cURL and command-line, you could make this request:

curl --data "ajax=1&htd=20131111&pn=p1&htv=l" http://www.google.com/trends/hottrends/hotItems

This will give you a JSON with the latest hot searches and more information like an array of related searches list, traffic stats, images, articles, and more. If you want to get the top 30 searches in the past 30 days, change some of the parameters in that call:

curl --data "ajax=1&pn=p1&htv=m" http://www.google.com/trends/hottrends/hotItems

What about Top Charts? It turns out you can grab all that data with just one POST request to this URI:

curl --data "ajax=1&geo=US&date=201310" http://www.google.com/trends/topcharts/category

This is a huge JSON response, over 1mb, and you can manipulate the geo and date parameters to see the results of these top charts over time and location. If you are interested in just trending data for a specific category, you can call the topcharts/trendingchart URI and retrieve that specific information. For example, recent trending keywords for Actors in United States could be retrieved with the following POST request:

curl --data "ajax=1&cid=actors&geo=US&date=201310" http://www.google.com/trends/topcharts/trendingchart

I have done a lot of research around trends and even looked across other channels in the past so I find these calls really helpful. I would love to hear more about how others are using this data, so drop a comment below.

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