Using Google Wonder Wheel

March 11th, 2011

Topics: Facebook, Perspectives

Google Wonder Wheel (GWW) is quite a tool. With the ability to visually explore the connections that related terms have, you are ultimately able to aim your search  towards a more specific destination. In addition to utilities such as TouchGraph, Google Wonder Wheel allows you to visually refine your search. This is a powerful ability, as much of the time that we spend on Google with a new search is trying to find out how best to phrase it. In addition, this tool allows you to explore a topic much quicker and without ever leaving the page.

To access Google Wonder Wheel simply click on the “More Search Tools” link on the left hand side of a Google Search Page. This will create a new column between the Search Tools and the Search Results that allows you to use GWW without leaving the page you are on. That’s pretty cool by itself, but you are also able to explore “up and down” the tool on the same page, making it possible for a quick exploration.

In my mind, the primary use for Google Wonder Wheel is the ability to immediately refine your search and to understand what alternative queries you might be able to use to find better results. For example, lets take the term we have been exploring recently, “Web Analyst”, and see what Google Wonder Wheel can help us discover.

When I opened up Google Wonder Wheel after having already searched for “Web Analyst” I was greeted with an array of options from which I could dive deeper into. One of the lessons that I have learned about searching is that you should almost always refine your search by what seems to be the most interesting next step. I decided that “Web 2.0 Analyst” would be an intriguing excursion.

After having clicked on the GWW link I found an array of second options, most of which seemed to be directly related to “Web 2.0 Analyst”. However, there was one refinement that stuck out to me, “Facebook Analyst”. I decided to click on this link simply because it seemed to stand out from the rest as being almost a category unto itself. It turns out it was.

The results from having clicked on “Facebook Analyst” were a pleasant summary of various other potential queries. Terms such as “MySpace Analyst” and “YouTube Analyst” popped up, providing a deeper understanding of what Google relates to “Web Analyst”. This is an invaluable ability and when combined with Social Media monitoring tools the Analyst is given access to realtime awareness, but that is for another post.

I was able to funnel through Google’s keyword relationships to find possible new searches that could ultimately help me find different answers to old questions. This is a model of discovery that many Analysts and Researchers could benefit from. Google understands that the ability to “see” how various search terms are related gives the user an edge and the advertiser a more targeted audience.