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Download and measure global trends through Google search volumes


Google offers public access to global search volumes through its search engine through the Google Trends portal. The globaltrends project uses search volumes provided by Google Trends to measure and analyze the distribution of search trends across countries or within countries. In the project employs this data to investigate patterns within these trends, such as degree of internationalization of firms and organizations or dissemination of political, social, or technological trends across the globe or within single countries. The globaltrends project is a collaboration of Harald Puhr (University of Innsbruck) and Jakob Müllner (WU Vienna).

For researchers and analyists, we have developed the globaltrends package for R. To measure degree of internationalization, the globaltrends package offers a wide array of empirical possibilities. It allows researchers to compare degree of internationalization for various organizations on a unified scale. In addition, the time-series nature of Google Trends allows for historical analysis of internationalization patterns and speed within organizations.By the enormous detail of the data, globaltrends opens additional applications in research that are impossible with traditional measures of internationalization. For instance, using search volumes on a subnational level allows researchers to study proliferation within a country and, for example, to trace a particular market entry. In addition, the globaltrends project considers applications beyond corporate internationalization, such as data on global interest in products, persons, events, fads or scandals, even academic authors and papers. We present potential applications below.


  • globaltrends package for R (CRAN page and GitHub repository)
  • Technical documentation for the globaltrends package (package vignette)
  • Research note on capturing globalization and measuring degree of internationalization with Google Trends (SSRN working paper)
  • Application of Google Trends data as a measure for degree of internationalization (article in Journal of World Business)
  • Application of Google Trends and GDELT data for media analysis under geopolitical tension (article in AIB Insights)
  • Application of Google Trends data as a measure for socio-political risk (working paper available on request)
  • Application of Google Trends data as a mesure for issue salience in Russia during the war in Ukraine (SSRN working paper)
  • Presentation at useR! 2021 conference (video, slides)
  • Presentation at AIB 2021 conference (slides)

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