How to use Google Trends for YouTube

Google Trends has a wealth of insight to guide your keyword and content strategies.

This article shows you how to use Google Trends to gain insight into YouTube and your video content strategy.

What does Google Trends data mean?

How to use Google Trends for YouTube

There is a lot of confusion about what data is actually presented in Google Trends.

Google Trends does not represent the actual search volume for a particular query, but the relative popularity of a search term.

Here is the explanation from Google Trends Help:

“Trends adjusts search data to make it easier to compare terms. Each data point is divided by the overall geography and time range search to compare relative popularity. “

In other words, relative popularity is the ratio of the search volume of a query to the sum of the search volumes of all possible queries.

“The resulting numbers are then scaled in a range from 0 to 100 based on a topic that is proportional to all searches.”

Understanding Google Trends data and the YouTube algorithm

To successfully use Google Trends to generate video content ideas, it is important to understand:

  • How Google Trends displays data.
  • The YouTube algorithm.

Google Trends

As mentioned above, a common misconception with Google Trends is that the tool reports search volume on various keyword terms and topics.


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In fact, Google Trends reports normalized search data to make it easier to compare terms.

According to Google, the data is normalized as follows:

  • Each data point is divided by the total search of the geography and the time range it represents to compare relative popularity.
  • The resulting numbers are then scaled in a range from 0 to 100 based on the proportion or relationship of a topic to all searches on all kinds of different topics.
  • Different regions that show the same search interest for a particular term do not always have the same total search volume.

So Google Trends is essentially showing interest in a specific topic from around the world.

YouTube algorithm

Would you like to use Google Trends to optimize content for YouTube?

Then it is important to understand some of the inner workings of the Google algorithm.

YouTube’s algorithm focuses heavily on individual video performance. This contains:

  • Click rates.
  • Average time
  • Number of likes, dislikes, comments and approvals.
  • How popular a video is (speed or growth rate).
  • How new a video is (new videos are often preferred).
  • The number of times a channel uploads new videos frequently.
  • User session on the YouTube platform.


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How to Use Google Trends in Your Video Content Strategy

1. Use Google Trends categories

You can use the Google Trends category feature to view topics that match the needs of your channel.

Google Trends categories

Even if your channel doesn’t directly match any of these categories, you can still view related topics that may still be relevant.

For example, if you look at the Food & Drink category, you will see that some topics overlap. Not surprisingly, there is currently COVID-19.

Google Trends categories

This will allow you to view high-level topics that are currently trending in search and identify overlaps that may be relevant to video content on your channel.


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If you would like more detailed information on the trends in each of these topics, you can click into each of these topics to view relevant articles that provide further insight into the specifics.

2. Look at different types of searches

Another practical aspect of Google Trends is that you can identify trending topics for different types of searches.

You can also view them using standard web search and YouTube search.

A look at the standard Google search engine is helpful for generating video content ideas. However, you can get even more insights by checking out the latest trends in YouTube search for yourself.

You may find that some similarities, as well as differences, can help target your video content.

Google search types

YouTube search

Google Trends Youtube Search

Web search

Google Trends web search

You can see some similarities and differences between web search and YouTube search.


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An even more laser-focused view of trends in YouTube search, rather than just search in general, will help prioritize content creation.

3. Analyze seasonal trends

Another consideration when looking for video content ideas on Google Trends is seasonal patterns.

By identifying these, you can plan and prioritize the creation of your content.

The seasonality varies, of course, depending on the topic. We know that some trends are definitely seasonal and therefore can prioritize.

Take the “egg liqueur recipe” for example:

Google trends seasonality

Other trends are situational and we may not have anticipated them, but we can use Google Trends data to get a better look at those trends.


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Let’s take a look at the question “How do I cut hair?”

Web search

Cutting hair Google Trends

YouTube search

How to use Google Trends for YouTube

This is also especially helpful as the YouTube algorithm prioritizes trending and current videos.

If you can identify a seasonal theme or a theme that is trending due to a particular situation, it can go a long way in leveraging this aspect of the YouTube algorithm.

This can then bring your video in front of more eyeballs.


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4. Find timely keyword targets

Google Trends can be particularly useful for keyword research.

As mentioned earlier, Google Trends does not report on search volume, but on the general popularity of certain topics.

You can also use Google Trends to better understand the general keywords or topic clusters to target based on the trend data.

You can easily see which topics are becoming more popular and declining over time.

Downwards: “workouts at home”

Google downward trend

Up: “Early coordination by the state”

Google trends up

In addition, you can take a look at the related topics, which are hot topics, to create optimal subtopics for content.

Google Trends subtopics

5. Observe current trends by region

Google Trends can help identify content topics that vary in popularity by state or region.


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This can serve as a guide to hyper-local content strategies for local optimization purposes.

You can create useful content that is specifically targeted at people in these locations:

regional Google trends

You can also drill down further and use a location comparison tool to find similarities or differences.

Looking at this, you can prioritize content by region.

Google trends regionalHow to use Google Trends for YouTube

If you’ve noticed even a minor or significant difference in how freshness of a topic by region, you can prioritize the timeline of content for those areas.


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Google Trends can be very useful for keyword research, content calendar planning, and a host of other organic (as well as paid) tasks and projects – especially in a year when trending topics and typical seasonality look different for many businesses.

More resources:

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