Google to give developers access to Trends API

Google will eventually provide an open application programming interface for its Trends analysis tool, allowing users to embed the tool in their applications, or download data from the application for personal use, a company official said.

Marissa Mayer, vice president of search products and user experience at Google, would not provide timelines for when the search vendor might open up the API for Trends, which tallies Google Web searches for the terms users enter relative to the total number of searches done on Google.

However, she noted the company's fondness for APIs, as well as Trends users' requests to be able to put data culled from Trends in a spreadsheet and have the ability to manipulate it. For example, users might be able to create a spreadsheet comparing Trends data from present and previous years.

"While I can't [give] particular dates for such a launch, I do believe that we will be making an API available so you can take the Trends product and embed it and use the data," Mayer said during a Web cast tutorial on the application Dec. 4.

Were Google to open up Trends and allows users to download data, marketers could customize their own Trends analyses to detect new patterns, ideally to better target users with products and services.

PointerTo read about Google Hot Trends, click here.

Google launched Trends in May 2006, and Mayer said Google uses it to improve its search quality.

Trends presents users a search volume graph on a linear scale on top of a news-reference-volume graph displaying the number of times topics appeared in Google News stories.

Trends also includes a feature called Hot Trends that lets users check the most searched terms for a that day. Clicking on a link in Hot Trends yields a number of nuggets of info, including when the search results for that term peaked and where, as well as news articles and blog posts about the topic.

Users can also compare query volumes, and do cross-discipline analyses, by typing in multiple terms in the search trends box. Trends will conduct analyses only as far back as January 2004. Special Report: New Frontiers for Search

Releasing a Trends API developer would also be par for the course for Google, which released APIs for the OpenSocial platform on Oct. 31.

Google also offers an API that lets users embed Google Maps in their own Web pages, and an API for Google Gears that lets developers create Web applications that can run offline.

Mayer discussed Trends after revealing the top searches on the search engine for 2007.

She said social networking sites reigned in 2007, with YouTube, Club Penguin, MySpace and Facebook grabbing four of the spots on Google's search list for 2007. iPhone topped the list, and Webkinz, Transformers, Heroes, TMZ and Anna Nicole Smith completed the top 10 list.

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