Google Trends and the Dawn of Brand Journalism

Google Trends just unveiled a new tool for mapping the popularity of search terms. So I was curious about  what it might tell us about “brand journalism” and “owned content” — two of the terms often used to describe this marriage of credible content with company sponsorship.





Neither term even shows a blip before 2008. Interesting that brand journalism had a couple of brief spikes, then went dormant around 2010 and has re-emerged with staying power since 2011.

Owned content seems to have been introduced into the vernacular in early 2009, and has seen a somewhat steady rise in popularity since.

The tool can be revealing. I was messing around with it, and tried the term “journalism jobs.” My assumption was that the trend would zoom upward thanks to the constant drumbeat of cutbacks at traditional publications. Not so! The trend line curves downward. Fewer and fewer people are searching for “journalism jobs.” Could it be that people increasingly don’t even consider journalism jobs?

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