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Track Popularity of Any Topic in the Blogosphere over Time

One of our blog friends, who works for a popular interactive agency, sends in an interesting question:
Are there any tools which will let me compare a trend of how much content is available on the net for a subject over a period of time.

I need to demonstrate to a client that last year there was not much of content available on the web relating to them... but this year there is... and the trend is increasing.
Well, there are three different ways to track the buzz around different topics in the blogosphere over a period of time, two of these methods are known to most users but the Technorati trick, which gives the most relevant results, is still a secret for many [until you read this post].

The first trick uses the BlogPulse Trendsearch tool from Nielsen BuzzMetrics. It lets you create visual graphs for a single keyword or you can track the popularity of upto three keywords in the same graph.

Like Google Finance charts, you can click the lines on BlogPulse charts to check the date-specific citations in the blogosphere for that topic. Here's a real example:



The second trick uses Topix.net, a hugely popular service that aggregates content from news sources as well as blogs. Just type in any topic and Topix will create a nice looking graph showing the mentions of that topic in the blogosphere or Main stream media over time.

The data is displayed for the last twelve months. You can limit the graphs to either news or blogs or both. Excellent tool, here's an example blog trends graph for Youtube.



Now it's time for some secret sauce - Technorati provide an exceptionally useful tool for tracking blog buzz over time.

You can track either a topic or even citations for any URL (like how many sites have been linking to my blog over a period of time). And unlike most other blog trend service, Technorati talks in figure - it will tell you the exact number of posts that carried that search keyword on any given day.

Let's see an example : How may stories in the blogosphere have talked about google in the last 100 days.



How many blog posts have mentioned "James Kim", the deceased CNet Gadget editor in the last 20 days.



Want more ? Technorati will let you customize the dimensions of the chart and you can even specify the number of days for which you want the blogging trend data.

technorati.com/chartimg?width=200&height=200&days=100&q=google

Just change the height, width and days parameter for customized Technorati trend charts. You can either put a keyword (like ipod+games) or even a URL like labnol.blogspot.com.