Alexa is often used to identify the most popular websites on the Internet in terms of traffic. However, they don’t provide actual traffic numbers while other websites like QuantCast have these estimates. There are many valid use cases to leverage these rankings but I would guess that beyond the first 10k to 50k results, it gets quite inaccurate. Both services collect this data differently and they both provide a top 1 million list so today I decided to compare these two data sets against each other and figure out their differences in website ranking.
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.