Love your dog and wonder what other people have been looking for in dogs over the last five years?

Feb 23 08:59 2011 Bruce Scott Dwyer Print This Article

If you love dogs, you may be interested in knowing how popular dogs have been in recent history. The best way of doing this is looking at Google search trends on Dog information over the last five years, for the leading dog loving countries. That means looking at Google data for America USA, Australia and the UK.
These trends are important for the retail sector and any person interested in seeing what time of year people are most interested in searching for dog information.

America Dogs relative trend 2006 – 2010

The American relative growth trend for the term ‘dogs’ shows striking seasonality over five years.

The seasonal pattern (last five years average) shows a flat rate (except for 2007) from January to June,Guest Posting when it reaches a peak in July (middle of summer) before hitting a 6% trough in September and October, before reaching parity in December again (the Christmas present effect).

America ‘Dogs’ absolute volume growth Feb Nov 2010

Google provides two sets of data relevant to dogs. One is absolute volumes in monthly increments over 12 months, and one is relative growth rates (relative to the whole search market) going back to 2004). This raises the question of how the absolute search volume trend for 'Dogs' compare to the relative 'dogs' growth data. As discussed above, The ‘Dogs’ relative growth trend for 2010 holds flat until June as does the absolute data trend. The relative graph then has a peak in July before a steep decline to Sep / October. The absolute graph should be exactly the same, HOWEVER it has a slight delay in its peak until September October then begins a decline in November. This suggests that the relative Dog search trend data from Google is more accurate and timely, than absolute data set information.

America comparison of ABSOLUTE search volume trends ‘Dogs’ single term V Dogs all market (621 terms)

As the single term ‘Dogs’ needed to be multiplied by 9 to approximate the volume of the total dog associated search market (621 terms) the single term ‘dogs’ represents near 10% of the ‘dog associated’ search market in America. That is a huge amount of people using a single word and trusting Google to provide the results they want.

Australia ‘DOGS’ search term trend

Australia is included in this analysis, because on a per capita basis, it has just as strong a search demand as the USA does for dogs. Just like America, Australia has a strong seasonal search trend for dogs. The start and the end of the year (summer) are the highest search volumes with an alternating up and down pattern in the middle of the year - mini peaks in April, July and September.

The total band of growth for all five years of dog searches in Australia only fluctuates between 1 and 0.85 (a 15% variation in seasonal search volumes) or interest in dog information online.  

Relative data trends give great resolution (weekly data) and information back five years but if you only use that you would consider that the interest in Dogs has been flat for the last five years. To understand real world search values, you need to look at absolute volume trends.  

Looking at absolute search volumes over the last year show that the dog online market had been growing very well. For the top 365 'dog associated' terms searched on Google in Australia, the volume of searches had started in January near 200,000 and grown fairly steadily to near 260,000 searches in August - a 30% increase.

Since the single term ‘dogs’ is the largest volume search in most countries it is interesting seeing how much the single term has been contributing to the growth of the whole dog market.

It turns out that the single term ‘Dogs’ is growing faster than the top five terms combined (about double the rate) and about four times the market as a whole. This means that in Australia, in terms of the total dog market over 2010, people were putting more faith in entering a single generic word term into the search engine to find what they want, rather than multiple terms.

UK dogs market seasonal trends

The UK seasonal trend shows the very strong correlation between each year over the last five years of Dogs search volumes in the UK. The search pattern at first glance may appear similar to the US, but there are striking differences. In the UK search growth has been shown to plummet every year from Jan to a trough in May/ June followed almost always by a peak in August (slightly delayed on the US peak in July). However from here the differences are quite remarkable.

In the US while growth declines until Sep/ Oct it ALWAYS increases again in December – and on average, to a very similar level as its January value. By contrast, in the UK after the peak in August, search growth just continues to decline every year until the years equal lowest growth value in December. The five year average December growth value is near 12% below the start of the year. Meaning that for five years the UK (the leading dog market globally on a per capita basis) has been in decline relative to the complete Google search market in the UK.

UK absolute growth of total DOGS online market 2010

While the relative dogs trend appears in decline (compared to the total search market) the UK is the only country so far analysed that Google lists its maximum of 800 dog associated terms.

The single ‘dogs’ term must be multiplied by 16 to be close to the total UK market trends, meaning that the single term ‘dogs’ is a much lower percentage of the total market than the term ‘dogs’ is in the US market (near 10%). Thus the UK market is more diverse (longer tail) with more refined search terms.


In America, a very different five year relative growth trend was shown for the term ‘dogs’ as compared to Australia. It shows that while there was much volatility in the five years up to May, that every year had a peak in July (middle of summer) and a trough in September/ October, before rising to a peak again in December (Christmas purchases).

For Australia in 2010, the Single term ‘dogs’ is growing faster than the top five terms and the total ‘Dogs associated’ market of 365 terms. The relative ‘dogs’ search growth over five years shows strong positive seasonality in summer (Jan and December) – potentially from Christmas purchases. While the analysis of the “dogs” relative term growth appeared flat, this is only because it is compared to the total search market which is growing fast.

A comparison of the same term ‘dogs’ from different Australian data sets (keyword tools and Google trends) suggests that Google trends data is much more refined (accurate) and that the Absolute database has a potential lag in data reporting of at least one month.

The UK relative growth dogs market shows a decline of 12% per year on average over the last five years. This would be alarming for one of the highest per capita dog search countries and the origin of so many breeds – except that this data compares dog searches to total market searches. In absolute search terms, the interest in dogs still suggests positive growth.

This article shows how it is useful to view the relative and absolute dog online search market trends for the leading countries to have an indication of seasonal trends and the general well being of the dog industry. A healthy continued growth in total ‘dog associated’ searches (all terms associated with the core term ‘dog’) suggests a healthy ongoing interest in dogs globally – or at least the major developed countries. .

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Bruce Scott Dwyer
Bruce Scott Dwyer

Written by Bruce Dwyer for The Dog Walking & Pet Sitting expert in: Williamstown, Newport, Spotswood, Altona North, Yarraville. For the full article, including graphs & ref see the site's Articles page or link me for easy access. Bruce’s other interests are working as a Market Analyst and a major article contributor to Gluten Free Pages a Restaurants, Cafes and Product Directory.

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