This one is still pretty new – in fact, it is still an experimental product on “Google Labs.”  I’ll be pretty geeky here, because this one is way out there, but I’m going to keep this post short as short as my 1:00am blabbering mode allows, so don’t worry.

By the way, I think statistics is one of the classes in college that somehow I decided was worth a do-over in the future, so I couldn’t go into a huge amount of detail even if I wanted to…

Anyway, one of the best descriptions of this tool comes from Google itself: “Google Correlate is like Google Trends in reverse…you enter a series of data (that you can even upload!), and get back a list of user queries where the data series follows a pattern…”

The “Google Trends in reverse” part made sense, but I started to get lost with the rest of it until I looked at an example using Google’s data.  This sample query for mittens shows some of the other search terms which correlate with a search for mittens.

Without being a specialist in winter equipment, I’m not going to go off too much here.  But if I owned a business in this industry, the wheels might start turning in my mind.

For example, it makes sense that “hat” is a pretty common term to appear with “mittens”.  But isn’t it kind of nice to let Google tell you that “knit hat,” knit hats,” and “snow hats” are the terms that appear to have the highest correlation?  Looking further down, what about “puffy jacket” instead of just “jacket” or “sweater?”

After additional testing and support for the hypotheses the you form (please don’t go off half-cocked and say “Google told me so…” and spend a bunch of money on a theory about terms that didn’t seem related but you did it anyway), this could be pretty powerful for your practice, don’t you think?  Can you say website optimization?  PPC optimization?

Play around with different terms pertinent to your practice, and if you get patients from all over, also try the “Compare US States” link to see geographic differences.

Here is a link to the Google Correlate FAQ for more info.

As we explore this tool more and more for our clients, we’ll post some more examples as long as it won’t impact any competitive advantages they get as a result.  We’d love it if you’d do the same, so we can build up a nice brain trust to get other people’s minds going on the possibilities.