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Google Trends to Identify Trending Microstock Concepts

AuthorAlexandre Rotenberg

August 22,2022

As savvy microstock photography & videography contributors, researching what may be trending and then executing such concepts is a crucial step towards ensuring consistent sales. Fortunately, there’s a useful and free to use online tool, Google Trends, where you’re able to research the popularity for a particular keyword and filter the results by its location, time frame and category.

In this post we’ll be analyzing this fantastic tool and brainstorming three upcoming trends which you may begin creating now to begin selling in the near future. Let’s get started!


How does Google Trends Work?

According to Google, “Google Trends normalizes search data to make comparisons between terms easier. Search results are normalized to the time and location of a query by the following process: Each data point is divided by the total searches of the geography and time range it represents to compare relative popularity”. Here’s a short tutorial on using this tool.


Covid-19 Case Study

Considering that there is a time-lag between uploading content and those eventually selling, chances are that by the time you’ve created your concepts the trend may be on its way out. For instance, you may recall how on the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic some desperate people were stocking up on toilet-paper and hand-sanitizers. It’s easy to see how this was such a short-term trend at the onset of the pandemic that it would be a waste of time, in 2022, to create such concepts. 


Covid-19 Vaccines

Towards the end of 2020, as you may recall, all the craze were about Covid-19 vaccines. Naturally, people were researching about them with some being more skeptical than others. Meanwhile, wise stock contributors were busy creating such concepts. 

Perhaps you also missed that boat, although it may not be too late as this trend may still be worthwhile to invest as new Covid-19 variants emerge. Also new vaccines are constantly developed by pharmaceutical companies competing for government contracts. Interestingly, the following is a comparison between the three main Covid-19 vaccine pharmaceuticals and “interest over time” in terms of Google searches.

As you may see above, interest for these keywords and associated concepts peaked around early to mid-2021. If you began creating such concepts in late-2020, assuming they were well-executed technically and properly keyworded, you’d probably be well on your way to making some nice coin. One major reason would be early high-placement on the stock agencies’ search engines for popular keywords / phrases such as “Covid Vaccine”.


Case Study - Forecasting Three Future Trends

Now comes the more fun and potentially profitably-useful section of this post, trying to forecast some emerging trends, in August 2022, that may begin selling in the coming months and years. 

Unless you’ve been hiding in a cave for the past few months many of these will appear obvious especially if you’re tuned in current events. 

  1. Russia-China-Iran Alliance vs NATO

The February 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine is without a doubt the most groundbreaking geopolitical event since the end of the Cold War. The six-month war is only a preliminary stage in what is emerging, somewhat behind the scenes, as a prelude to a much greater “conflict” between the alliances of Russia, China and Iran and NATO members. Generally speaking, the world is becoming a more unpredictable and dangerous place. 


Economic Wars

In mid-2022, fortunately, not all wars are necessarily conducted via military means. The most obvious type of “war” that is rife is largely economic with countries conducting in threats and counter-threats of sanctions / embargoes. The most impactful now is a ban on Russian imports of oil products to the Europe Union. However, it probably won’t be too long until there are further sanctions and counter-sanctions imposed on a multitude of countries (up to you to research), such as the following search has highlighted: 

Chinese / Taiwan Tensions

Below, as you may see there has been a recent spike in interest related to “China sanctions” following Chinese military exercises close to Taiwan in August 2022 and the ongoing threat of Chinese invasion of the island.   

  1. Energy Crisis

Related to the above Brave New World, are rising costs of living particularly in the Western World, partly due to sanctions on Russia and other macroeconomic uncertainties. 

Prior to the February 2022 invasion, many European countries relied heavily on Russia for their immediate energy needs.

The Russian sanctions, particularly on energy, means that European member states quickly need to find alternate suppliers to meet the coming winter’s demand. Meanwhile, consumers should feel the brunt of rising costs.


Focus on Inflation

Predictably, inflationary pressures on consumers and businesses are currently a trending topic to explore and create concepts and Google Trends is even forecasting that “interest over time” will grow in the short-term, so act now to create such concepts! 

It’s a broad topic so best to narrow it down and ultimately create a clear concept, ideally using model-released persons of different genders.

  1. Gender Politics

Moving away from geopolitical and economic issues, a trending sociological trend in the West is the often-confusing debates surrounding gender politics. Some quick searches on different genders yields interesting results.

Here, I did a comparison search for common types of trending keywords related to “Gender”:

You’d be wise to create lifestyle concepts using one or more combination of trending gender usages, as well as the more common “politically correct Pro-Nouns” in usage. Interestingly, only 10 years ago, barely anybody searched for “Gender Pronouns”:

Confused? So am I…



Be aware of terms that may be on their way out

Interestingly, the term “gay” and “lesbian” are no longer in such common usages and have been replaced by more specific and politically-correct terms. It’s clear to see that “interest over time” has been falling steadily during the past years in searches. 


Cross-checking Google Trends results within the stock agencies

Now that we’ve identified some worthy topics to potentially invest some time to create concepts, the next step is to search for results within the respective stock agencies.

This is a way to benchmark the competition in terms of technical quality as well as assess whether it’s worth creating such topics for the number of hits that a certain keyword may produce. 

Take any of the above terms I’ve discussed above and research for the highest-ranking search results. Then ask yourself if you’re able to create content that is equal or better than those. If not, move onto another search. 



What is trending or may be trending used to be anyone’s guess but fortunately thanks to tools such as Google Trends, we stock contributors, can at least have an idea of potentially worthwhile topics to invest our time. 

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