What do people use Google for when it comes to wine?
Makes sense. I know I’m also more interested in the “best” of something. Who really wants to learn more about the “worst” of something? (aside from a quick snark thanks to the Razzies of course)
I headed over to Google Trends to poke around the wine category a bit after reading the wine blog obit published here at the well-regarded Fermentation wine blog. Irony much? There, writer and publicist Tom Wark thoughtfully suggests — perhaps mercifully — that the wine blog is dead. Or, at least, interest in it is on the wane. According to Google Trends that is indeed the case as shown here:
Google Trends: “wine blog” (Interest over time)
Do people really search for “wine blog” when using Google? I suspect that only a minuscule number of Web searchers do. Likely, a handful of people who write regular posts on their own wine blogs; those who also attend the annual Wine Bloggers Conference, and those who like to check out their peers from time to time. My guesstimate is that there are about 200-300 of these hardcore oenophiles that form the wine blog community.
What, then, would be a more interesting and relevant term used to measure the interest in the greater category of wine?
How about “wine review”:
Google Trends: “wine review”
Not surprisingly, “wine review” generates far more interest among the mainstream, and appears to demonstrate a generally stable search rate over the years.
In the above chart, a spike appears at the same interval, creating a repeating pattern. We can quickly deduce — thanks to the beauty of the Google Trends tool — that this is due to seasonality, and consumers tend to make more buys during the year-end holiday period in December. We may say every day is a special occasion when it comes to an excuse to pop open a bottle, but apparently nothing beats Christmas and New Years.
If we narrow the search, and give the long-tail theory a bit of a go, this is what we get:
Google Trends: “best red wine”
Here again, Google Trends is providing some very interesting information. Back in 2006, “wine review” easily beat out “best red wine” for searches. The trend over time suggests that won’t be the case in the future. By 2017, based on the above chart (observe the yellow line), “best red wine” should surpass the more generic review search. Why? Could it be that U.S. consumers (the country exhibiting the most “regional interest” in this search) are becoming more savvy, and, like the long-tail might suggest, getting more specific in their tastes in the topic?
Regardless, the Daddy of all wine searches is this:
Google Trends: “best wine”
Google Trends reveals that “best wine” positively trounces all comers. Here, you can see the relative importance of each of the above search terms. It confirms a general suspicion that people are compelled to search for good things. After all, these searches likely come in a buying context with a purchase imminent.
Clearly, interest in wine is not diminishing in the least. That green line above suggests the seasonal trend observed earlier, in addition to a healthy annual growth rate. Social media, be it Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, is not siphoning searches from Google, not at least when it comes to searching out the “best wine.”
— “best wine” is far and away the most searched term when it comes to wine (so far as I can tell as of Jan. 2016)
— “wine blog” is a niche, and relevant to, in my estimation, only a few hundred people
— based on Google Trends, wine buying is seasonal
If your web site appears on the first page of Google search results when someone searches for “wine blog” that’s well and good, but the real (economic) value, and the real opportunity is having your posts appear when someone searches for “best wine” (or something similar). It is then that someone has likely become a buyer, and is about to make a purchase.
Is the Wine Blog dead?
Using “wine blog” to reach a decision in assessing the “death” of the wine blog is a red herring. Try this instead:
1. Do a Google search for “best wine”;
2. Scan the results; and
3. Make note of the sources
See any blogs in there?
Death is so overrated.
Long live the new flesh. And Google Trends.
Photo credit: Wikipedia