Use Google Trends for Niche Discovery: A Primer to “Get In” Hot Markets (Ahead of the Competition)

We love to use Google Trends for business research.

It reveals and validates ideas.

We get an inside glimpse where markets are going and whether they’re in decline.

If you can find a trending topic and pair it with an offer — then you’ve got yourself a great opportunity to ride that social excitement and make a few bucks. Catching an early trend gives you plenty of time to begin creating content, selecting products, and making all-important, business connections.

Sometimes it’s a coin toss, though.

Remember fidget spinners?


Fidget Spinners Google Trends


How many people got stuck with stockpiles because they “got in” as the trend was peaking?

I almost did.

I had ordered a fidget spinner a month before they started taking off. It had a neat, novelty to it. Social media was just starting to talk about it. Then, it blew up like crazy! But, it took so long to arrive from China that it would have been stupid to pursue… the ship had sailed.

Good thing it played out like that, though, since a week after the market collapse I seen a recently opened stall with hundreds of the things, deeply discounted, with the business owner in shambles.

That’s just one example of what you’d find if you use Google Trends for market research.

  • It could have been an amazing opportunity
  • It could have been a total disaster

Seeing how it’s trending can dictate how you react.


What’s Buzzin’, Internet?

Plenty of opportunities are out there… if you’re willing to keep on top of what’s buzzing.


Exploring Niches


The Web is in a constant flux of interests — it’s hyper — and for the affiliate marketer, this means that new niche markets may spring up (and die) within a week’s time.

Use your research and development abilities, with a healthy dose of marketing, and you’ll get into a market with an incredible return on your investment.

In the following section, I’ll be showing a visual step-by-step guide to using Google Trends.


Use Google Trends


A Basic Primer to Use Google Trends for Research: A Dead-Simple Tool for Finding Markets (and a Bit of Product Research)

Google Trends is a free tool for viewing trends on the Web.

Data is pulled from search queries along with signals. The result is an overview of the term/phrase.

You can set parameters dating back to 2004 or keep them as recent to what’s happening today.


Use Google Trends for Research


You can pair it with other terms to create a comparison between the interests, too, which makes it a powerful tool to see how one industry is in decline while a related one is taking off.


Using Google Trends for Comparisons


In affiliate marketing, this gives you a great glimpse whether your direction is on the up (or down) within the general interest in your market. Seeing a topic ‘trend up’ is a fantastic signal to explore the markets without taking a complete shot in the dark whether the market will be there once you’ve launched.


Here’s how Google explains how to use Google Trends:



The tool is very detailed once you understand its workings. For the most part, though, we’ll use the trend tool on a basic level — as a way to verify ideas — instead of academic research.

Want to make it work for your affiliate marketing (and general business) ventures?

Continue on…


Part 1: Doing a generalized search (or two) on Google Trends

Visit the Google Trends and fill in a term.

Here are a few ideas for this term:

  • An up-and-coming product launch
  • A popular service or platform
  • An individual or brand

The point is to search for what’s related to your industry if you’re trying to find opportunities within it. Else, doing a search for one you wish to enter.

You can pull a lot of these terms from general keyword research or Web analytics. Or, maybe you noticed a buzz word going around on social media? That’s a candidate, too.


Let’s go with ‘Arc Lighters’ for our test market

These are lighters you can recharge — I’ve seen them popping up a lot on Alibaba, Amazon, and a few small sites but they haven’t seemed to have caught on big-time (as of Jan 2018).



This surface-level research will only give you so much.

But… it will reveal the overall appeal of the market you’re going after. It can give you a growth estimate of a product, service, or industry so you’re not wasting time going after a dying interest.

Measure the starting point to the most recent while visualizing its growth or decline.

We drew a green line to show how interest is slowly building for these products.


arc lighters trending up


It’s looking like this product is beginning to catch on.

  • The earliest spike set the search around 25
  • The ending dip is around about 40
  • It started off with spiking but interest became frequent

Sure, it’s taken a few years but it’s well on its way. Plus, it’s not quick spikes which would have indicated a flash-in-the-pan interest from consumers.

We do see a big spike in early 2016.

There wasn’t anything in particular that stood out when we searched Google results for the time. Until we skipped over to a couple of YouTube video results. The ‘Tesla Coil’ arc lighter brand seemed to have made a splash with a few, popular YouTube channels.


Tesla Coil Lighters Test YouTube


Could this be the video that really set it off for that spike?

Interesting, nonetheless.

Hopping onto this trend around that time may have been a bit of a disappointment. The quick bump may have sent you into a FOMO (fear of missing out) purchase to which you’d of sat on stock a while.

Yet, the cat was out of the bag and interest grew — you wouldn’t have too big a trouble selling the lighters.

But… what if you want to reduce that risk of a quick pop?

To go deeper, this is what you do …


Part 2: Refining the results with Google Trends

The secondary aspect, if you want to use Google Trends, is looking into the insights.

This used to be a separate feature but is now coupled with the search query.


Expanded Hot Topics on Google Trends



The expanded sections have many parameters to view info about your potential, trendy promotions.

Type in the general niche/keyword and you’ll find info that includes the trending searches, news, and user demographics. But, the difference in this section of Google Trends is that there are extra suggestions for related keywords and other terms that are starting to pick up interest – the gold!


Sometimes there are big happenings (Google will pool the data)

Google Trends is featuring a dedicated page to Super Bowl LII.

The featured Google Trend gives you quite the information if you were promoting sports affiliate programs. Take a look (below) and you’ll see hot questions and searches. Each of these could become a piece of content. You’d imagine this information would get shared a ton on social media.


Top Questions for Super Bowl 2018


Oddly enough — with our example — Germany seems to have quite an interest in the Super Bowl.


Germany Interest for Super Bowl 2018


It’s these little details that would cause an inquisitive mind to say…

“Huh, I wonder if I could work some form of content to target German Web users?”.

There are many other options to play with but the main to test is plugging in keywords, when you use Google Trends, and viewing suggestions toward the bottom. You’ll find many keywords, starting to come into demand, with very little competition.


Let’s use “Winter Jackets” and one more example

It’s Winter, biting cold, and something people would want to buy around this time.

We’ll go ahead and use Google Trends for this extra example.

After adding the query, you’ll find ‘Related queries’ down at the bottom.

Within this area you can export this list as a CSV, giving you this…


Google Trends Compare with CSV


For niche research, you could use these terms and queries to find related products and services on popular eCommerce channels or by doing a general Google search and looking at the competition.

Click on the queries or topics and Google Trends will keep providing data.

It’s like Wikipedia where you’ll start on one thing and end on a completely, unrelated area — except you may find a trending topic to be profitable.



Keep Playing Around and Use Google Trends to See What You Can Find (You May Surprise Yourself!)

Go ahead and give Google Trends a try.

See what you can find with the tool.

If anything, use Google Trends for SEO since it’ll spit out a ton of queries a lot like the suggested search.

It’s really fun once you begin digging around. You’ll start to uncover tons of niche market ideas for your next project. A lot of which, you never knew existed!

Combine the research with a bit of cross-referencing (checking if the market exists and people are selling offers) and you could be onto something! There’s a whole world of data at your fingertips.


How do you think you’ll use Google Trends for research?