Google Trends is not only a fun tool; it also offers some practical uses as well. Suppose you own an ice cream shop and don’t know which flavors to serve, or suppose you’re responsible for stocking supermarkets across the country; Trends can help you explore the popularity and seasonality of your products. To conduct your own, more detailed analyses, you can now easily export Trends data to a .csv file (a common format to import/export data), which can be opened in most spreadsheet applications. When you use the export function, you’ll also have the choice of using either relative scaling (what we’ve shown here) or fixed scaling (scaled to a specific time range).
The data is scaled based on the average search traffic of the term you’ve entered.
There are two modes of scaling – relative and fixed – and the only difference between them is the time frame that’s used to calculate the average. However, fixed scaling is only available as a .csv export. Please note that the ability to see numbers on the graph and to export this data with either mode of scaling are available only after you’ve signed into your Google Account for Trends.
In relative mode, the data is scaled to the average search traffic for your term (represented as 1.0) during the time period you’ve selected. For example, if you entered the term dogs, the graph you’d see would be scaled to the average of all search traffic for dogs from January 2004 to present. But if you chose a specific time frame – say 2006 – the data would then appear relative to the average of all search traffic for dogs in 2006. Then, let’s suppose that you notice a spike in the graph to 3.5; this spike means that traffic is 3.5 times the average for 2006.
In fixed mode, the data is scaled to the average traffic for your term during a fixed point in time (usually January 2004). In our example, 1.0 would be the average traffic of dogs in January 2004. If you chose 2006 as your time frame, you would be comparing data for dogs in 2006 to its data in January 2004. Since the scale basis (1.0) doesn’t change with time, you can look at different time periods, and relate them to each other. (Note: For keywords without a historical record, it may not be possible to establish a fixed scale).