Google Search trends is arguably the most effective way of learning what the world is thinking about, and Google Trends, with Google’s annual Zeitgeist, has always done a fairly decent job of illustrating this.

The World Ranked

Today, Google releases a new and improved version of the product with new charts, updated monthly, of the most-searched people, places and things in more than 40 categories with the ability to filter by 11 countries. PR companies and their customers now have another metric to be highly aware of. Everything from business people through to cars are ranked for the world to see. Each category goes back to 2004.

How is Michael Jordan still the most searched for athlete month-on-month in 2013?

Built on top of Knowledge Graph, the data is accurate beyond simply keywords. Google understands the difference between “The Next Web”, “TNW” and “TNW Conference” for example, and therefore the charts are an accurate representation of what is being searched for in both broad and specific terms. Screen Shot 2013 05 22 at 11.16.14 AM 730x787 Google Trends now ranks most searched people, places and things in 40+ categories, releases visual trending product.

Trending Searches Visualised

In addition to Top Charts, Google has added a neat customizable visual way to illustrate trending searches *as they happen*. You can view an example below which illustrates current trending searches in the US. What’s not clear is how anyone can embed these in their own site or blog post. We’ve had to copy and paste the html itself from the announcement post to include this in our own. What’s more, there doesn’t appear to be much scope for customization here. For better customization and embedding options visit here where you can embed lists of current hot search trends.

Image Credit: DANIEL ROLAND/Stringer / Getty