A Google R&D post describes analyzing historical search trends patterns to predict future search trends. See, On the predictability of Search Trends.
Predicting search trends based on historical search trend patterns is a difficult challenge. There may be insurmountable obstacles embedded in these sayings: 1) Expect the unexpected, and 2) The only thing that is constant is change.
These are my previous posts about Google Trends:
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Sunday, August 16, 2009
A Google public sector team post describes how they would like to "build consumer products and applications that connect citizens to public information and services". See, Hello, world!
Suggestion: Create a Public Sector Today's Hot Trends page - only displaying links, not the trends search box. This would enable citizens and public service providers to see at a glance the top 20 search volume trends for public sector issues.
It is, however, important to keep in mind that Google search trends do not equate to users casting a vote, responding to a poll, or purchasing a consumer product or service.
A vote usually indicates a person is in favor of 1) electing an official or 2) implementing a legislative proposal.
Unlike a vote, if "town halls" or "health care" links appear on a Google Public Sector Today's Hot Trends page, those trends include an aggregation of users with wide-ranging opinions on the issue.