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Yahoo!7 search trends highlight opportunities for SMEs

Tuesday, 29 November 2011 | By Michelle Hammond
Businesses that create content based on popular search terms must ensure they have a relevant tie-in, an expert advises, after Yahoo!7 released its search trend data for 2011.


Jim Stewart, chief executive of Stewart Media, says there’s nothing wrong with businesses creating content based on popular searches as long as it’s done properly.


“It’s about engaging on different [platforms] that might be talking about these topics, whether it be on forums, Facebook or even Twitter,” Stewart says.


“It’s all about finding an angle. The key to that is that you’re not just coming out because of that [topic being popular].”


Stewart’s comments come on the back of a Yahoo!7 report revealing its search trend data for 2011, highlighting the topics that sparked the most interest throughout the year.


In the first three months of the year, the most popular search topics included the Queensland floods and Cyclone Yasi, earthquakes in New Zealand and Japan, and the Japanese tsunami.


In April and May, the royal wedding and Kate Middleton attracted significant search traffic, as did Middleton’s sister Pippa. The internet craze of planking was also a popular topic.


June saw Melbourne schoolgirl Kim Duthie steal first place in the search race due to her run-ins with players from the St Kilda Football Club and players manager Ricky Nixon.


In July, the arrival of Australian supermodel Miranda Kerr’s baby was the most searched about topic, followed closely by the Tour de France.


The death of music artist Amy Winehouse was the most searched topic of August, with the London riots coming in a close second.


In September, the Rugby World Cup and the US Open topped the list, followed by the Melbourne Cup in October, along with the release of the much-anticipated iPhone 4S.


The Melbourne Cup continued to dominate in November, as did the break-up of reality star Kim Kardashian’s marriage and her subsequent no-show at Emirates Stakes Day.


For businesses looking to take advantage of a popular search topic, by creating content around it, Stewart says they need to consider whether their business has any connection to that topic.


“Unless [the content] is directly related to the search being done, it won’t get clicked on,” he says.


“The key thing there is to have a long-term content strategy… Get people who are interested in that topic to talk about it [prior to it becoming the most popular search topic].”


“In the case of Miranda Kerr’s baby, for example, a regular blog – talking about baby wear, celebrity babies, etc – means it would make sense to talk about that.”


“As soon as it looks opportunistic, it’s a turnoff… You’ve got to build up an audience and be known for talking about those sorts of things.”