Following my post in Feb 2010 listing all tools that may be useful for e-marketing, and a nice discussion and demonstration I made tonight to Juan, this post is to remind you that we can access free services to monitor trends of keywords searches on the Internet.
Even if it works only for mega-trends and hot topics (at the time of writing this post, the longest domestic cat in the world which is 48 1/2 inches is a hot topic), words that are searched a lot, it may be used to see if outbreak of a disease is having more and more public and media focus.
Q-Fever. This example on Google Trends shows us that from mid 2005, people have been searching for the term on Google Search Engine.
If you look at last 12 months data, you would discover that a peak took place in December, when Dutch authorities announced 6 deaths, and that it came back to normal volume one month after.
You also would discover that it is a concern in Australia, Israel, Egypt and Netherland.
You can test by yourself on bluetongue, or you can compare bluetongue and q fever trends.
Google Insights for search eventually gives you more data.
http://www.google.com/insights/search/#q=flea%2Cticks%2Cmosquito&cmpt=q&geo=US will compare Fleas, Ticks and Mosquitos in the US. It's pretty clear that the market is probably seasonal. (Hey, I don't need to be a vet to see that, I just need to google it :)
You also get suggested search terms that are generally used and recent trends on this.
For example, people who serach for the term "flea" also search for "rid flea", "rid of flea", "dig fleas".
I let you play with these two nice tools :
Tell me what you discovered here :