Google Insights for Search

Its another wicked cool tool from Google. Their insight for search tool lets you see word searches over time and within geographical regions. The search term “emerging church” for example, has been declining in use since its peak in early 2007 and South Africans come out on top as the top users of this term. “Postmodern Church” has been in decline since 2004 while “missional church” is still popular. If you were thinking of naming a project or website, this tool could be handy to figure out how appropriate your name is, especially in relation to their “rising searches” list which is also a handy tool.

Downside in my opinion is the search results point to static web articles, most of which have no comments or feedback for correction or comment. Why not point to some tried and tested blog posts? I am wondering if Google will be pointing to its own Knol pages in the near future and this is a preliminary step.

Here is a map of the regional searches for “emerging church”.

Picture 14-3

Technorati Tags:


Andrew Jones launched his first internet space in 1997 and has been teaching on related issues for the past 20 years. He travels all the time but lives between Wellington, San Francisco and a hobbit home in Prague.


  • Matt Dabbs says:

    The link needs to be
    That is pretty amazing!

  • Wicked Cool…………. you sure you haven’t hung out in Boston!
    Ok, you made me giggle, since my first boyfriend in Jr. High was Billy from Boston, — so you were giving me flash backs to phrases like , “wicked awesome”, “wicked hot”, “wicked tired”….and the so forth………. thanks for the chuckle.

  • Roger Saner says:

    South African’s came out as the top users of the term?! That’s weird…I think the hard drive holding that info at Google was dropped a few too many times. If you take a look at the search results just by South Africans there’s a single month of interest (March 2007)…and that’s it.

  • Andy Rowell says:

    Just to let you know I have been thinking about this question of whether interest in the emerging church has peaked but missional church continues. Since I was still thinking about it, I thought I would come back and say thanks for the post.
    From my vantage point, there is more credible academic work under the missional banner than the emerging/emergent banner though I was enthusiastic about both movements for similar reasons a few years ago.
    Missional: Newbigin, Guter, Hirsch, Bosch, Keifert, Van Gelder, Stetzer
    Emerging/Emergent: McLaren, Pagitt, Jones, Gibbs/Bolger, Rollins?
    There are many others talking about church planting and congregational renewal of course that use neither of these terms.
    all the best,
    Andy Rowell
    Doctor of Theology Student
    Duke Divinity School
    Durham, North Carolina

  • andrew jones says:

    thanks Andy – good point. And the Aussies, just to throw the spanner in the works, have some good books also (Shaping of Things to Come, Forgotten Ways, Exiles) and the authors insist on using the combined term “emerging-missional church”.

  • iwebie says:

    Google Insights for Search is a service by Google similar to but a much more advanced extension to Google Trends with more flexibility and functionality.
    Check here to know more

Leave a Reply