Google Trends Doesn’t Have an API (Here's What You Can Do Instead)
Looking for the Google Trends API? It doesn’t exist.
And most services that claim to are simply scraping Google Trends and providing their own API.
Why is that a problem?
Dealing with third-party APIs can be a shot in the dark.
For example, check out this GitHub issue thread related to the “Google Trend API”:
It looks like people are having a hard time navigating these tools.
- API calls are failing unexpectedly
- Unexplained gaps appear in data results
- Hitting request limits too easily
- Unpredictable results and data
To make things more challenging, there is no official documentation or support for most of these tools.
(That’s because, again, these aren’t official APIs.)
So, If you’re looking for an alternative to the Google Trends API, this article will cover the top options to consider.
Why Doesn’t Google Trends Have an API?
Google doesn’t explicitly outline why they don't have an API for Google Trends. But it probably won’t happen anytime soon.
Here are some possible reasons why Google Trends doesn’t offer an API:
- Not Enough Demand. Google has a huge backlog of product and feature improvements. It’s possible that a Google Trend API just isn’t a priority.
- Intellectual Property Protection. Google Trends uses a combination of proprietary algorithms that analyze search and interest data. It’s possible that a public API may compromise this.
- Privacy Concerns. Data used by Google sometimes contains private and personal information. Rather than risk leaking private information via millions of API calls, Google may just prefer not to provide an API for Google Trends.
- Google Trends Is Free. If Google launched an API to other businesses, it might motivate those companies to sell that data.
- Complexity. Google Trends is not only storing search data, but they are normalizing by time and location to make region and time filtering possible. They also have to filter and vet data for spam.
What Are Some Alternative Options?
1. Exploding Topics Pro
Exploding Topics crawls millions of social media feeds, mentions, conversations, and searches across the web to surface trending topics before they take off.
Like Google Trends, you can see what topics are rising in popularity and track them over time.
Unlike Google Trends, Exploding Topics shows you what’s trending, instead of making you search for it.
Best of all:
Exploding Topics Pro Business provides a flexible and easy-to-use REST API so you can retrieve and analyze topics we find in real-time.
Unlike a third-party scraper, we manage our own API. That way, you’re always calling and querying live and accurate data. And you get hands on support if needed.
- Analyze topic data and build your own complex visualization and graphs in Python, R, or a language of your choice.
- Keep tabs on “exploding” products from a specific niche and build automatic reminders or workflows.
- Surface insights from Exploding Topics curated reports to see what’s gone viral.
Want to try it for yourself? Check out our API documentation here.
2. Use a Third-Party Scraper API
More than one tool claims to be the “Unofficial Google Trend API.”
In reality, they are simply scraping Google Trends.
What is scraping?
Web scraping is the process of using bots to automatically retrieve content and data from websites. Then, either storing or surfacing the information somewhere else.
For example, PyTrends is an open-source Python library that provides its own methods for interacting with Google Trends data.
At no point are you actually dealing with the Google Trends API (because there isn’t one). Instead, you're simply establishing a connection to Google and using Python to build a payload, retrieve it, and make queries to the payload.
Downsides of using a 3rd party Google Trends scraper include:
- Resource intensive. Scraping requires bots to work around the clock to copy data from the host website which could lead to poor performance.
- Questionable data quality. With a scraping API, you’re playing a game of telephone with millions of results and data points. It’s only natural that something gets missed along the way.
- Error-prone. Remember, the API is not associated with Google. This means there is no native support when you encounter issues. A small change by Google could break the scrapers' API.
- Ethical concerns. Scraping isn’t illegal, but scrapers have to be careful of how they position their products to avoid TOS violations.
In short, scraping tools offer no guarantee that the data is accurate, complete, or even legal.
3. Use a SERP Tracker API
SERP trackers crawl search engine result pages to find keywords, capture search results, and analyze competitor performance.
Many of these tools have APIs that let you leverage SERP data programmatically.
Unlike scrapers, they tend to use a combination of proprietary data and third-party search sources.
Since some of these brands are more established, you’re likely to find a better experience than from a Google Trends scraper. Their APIs are well-documented and supported as well.
Common SERP APIs
Semrush API- a very popular keyword research tool used by thousands of marketers. You can use its API to retrieve search results and volume for keywords.
SerpWow - a search engine crawler that lets you retrieve search results and trend data from Google, Yahoo, Bing, Yandex, Amazon, and others.
Smartproxy - another SERP API that gives you the ability to query search results from a variety of sources. You can also use a global proxy to search based on location.
Each of these tools has well-documented APIs.
Downsides of a SERP API
Like Google Trends and third-party scrapers, you’ve got to know what you’re looking for. So if you’re not sure which keywords are trending, you’ll be spending a while researching the right topic.
These tools can also get expensive since some of them charge based on usage.
Finally, search engines may block providers from crawling their websites, or retrieve different or limited results.
Google Trends Use Cases
What could you do with an API that pulls in trend data?
- Keyword Research. Google Trends helps you research a keyword’s search volume by region over time. It also shows you related topics and long-tail queries.
- Product Trends. If you’re an online seller, Google Trends can help you make decisions on which products to carry based on trend data.
- Monitor Competitive Brands. the compare feature lets you compare search volume between you and a competitive brand. You can see what regions you’re trailing and find new opportunities.
- Content Ideation. Content creators can draw inspiration from trending topics.
An API to Google Trends would accelerate time-to-value across all these use cases. And allow users to integrate Google Trends data into their existing tech stack.
The best part of using the Exploding Topics API is that our trend data comes to you. Don’t have a topic or product in mind? That’s fine. Query our topics by the minute to find new, fast-growing topics.
No, there isn’t an API for Google Trends - just workarounds. You can leverage these workarounds, but beware: there are always downsides to working with third-party APIs and scrapers.
Alternatives like Exploding Topics let you use native APIs, and provide real-time trend, topic, and product data from tons of different sources.