The art of trend-spotting is set to take a more scientific turn as Google, the world’s top Web search company, unveils a service to track the fastest-rising search queries.

Google Hot Trends combines elements of Zeitgeist and Trends — two existing Google products that give a glimpse into Web search habits, but only in retrospect based on weeks-old data.

Hot Trends, a list of the current top-100 fastest-rising search trends, will be refreshed several times daily, using data from millions of Google Web searches conducted up to an hour before each update, the company said.

What’s hot and what’s not will be knowable to the masses in ways pioneering social philosophers could never have imagined.

"There are events going on all the time that most of us aren’t aware of happening," Amit Patel, a Hot Trends software engineer and an early Google employee, said in an interview.

From news to gossip, the profound to the truly inane: baffled Google users seek the meaning of the phrase "motion to recommit" in the latest congressional debate, or search the phrase "I who have nothing" — the title of a song sung by a recent contestant on televised competition "American Idol."

And watch how the Web generation cuts corners: Each night before a national college entrance examination, Google sees heavy searches from what appears to be high-school students making last-minute preparations ahead of the test, Patel said.

Via the Times of India

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