Google adds real-time trends to Google Trends

With real-trends, introduced by Google, users can see what has caught the attention of the internet and how much interest some particular topic or event generates at a given moment.

Real Trends, for instance, uses data about the recent basketball game with the resulting data being broken down by participating teams.

This marked Google Trends' biggest expansion since 2012, and would help researchers, the general public, journalists and others track the popularity of topics and events as they happened which includes minute by minute information obtained in real time, on the basis of billions of searches on Google.

Google announced the real time trends on Wednesday, saying it could be used as a date picker to select a date and time range to see what was interesting during that time.

Trends presents data on where something was very popular, when the popularity started to rise and where it started to fall, and more.

The Google Trends home page has also been updated, becoming what according to Google was more ''story-centric''.

Real-trends lists and ranks stories and other data including trends happening on Google News and YouTube in addition to Google Search.

The new home page can be seen by users in 28 countries so far, while other regions would get to see it later this year.

According to commentators, while that might appear to make Google Trends a sort of populist news ticker - showing what people were genuinely interested in as against what newsroom bestowed importance on - Trends does not work quite that way.

Rather than pure volume, it tracks interest surges relative to how much those items usually generate. ''We're looking for spikes in particular topic areas that we then normalize,'' explains Steve Grove of Google News Lab, The Wired reported in its online edition.

''You can imagine if it was just volume overall, you'd see the same sort of topics every day.'' That's why headliners like the NBA Finals sit alongside less obvious hits like the Alameda County Fair in the top 10 ''trending stories'' as of this writing.