What we search for when we search for homes

Google Insights for Search

With apologies to Raymond Carver

Anyone who has looked at a PageRank meter recently or uploaded a video onto YouTube knows that Google has plenty of data about traffic on the Web. One toy we’ve been playing around with this afternoon is Google Insights for Search, which can compare search patterns across regions, categories, and time frames. For example, what is the more popular query among Google users – “new homes Chicago” or “new construction Chicago” – and how has the number of those searches changed over the past four years?

As you can see in the chart above, “New homes Chicago” (in blue) is used just a little more frequently than “new construction Chicago” (in red), but searches for both have tanked by about 80 percent from the halcyon days of early 2005.

And what if you add “real estate Chicago” (the orange line below) to the mix?

Google Insights for Search

The trend line is the same, but “real estate Chicago” definitely blows away the other two.

For what it’s worth, Google says the top five searches related to these phrases are:

  • “homes in Chicago”
  • “new homes Illinois”
  • “Chicago new construction”
  • “new construction homes”
  • “Chicago Tribune homes”
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