A collegue of mine (who is a Doctor...not like a real one but a P.H.D) sent me this article about Google Searches in Canada. For the past few years, Google has released its Zeitgeist report (German for "Spirit of the Times") to help show current web trends and provide insights into what people are searching.
This is the first time they've included Canada and it's interesting to see what Canadians have been searching for the past year. The top search? "Facebook". At number 2 and 3 are "YouTube" and "Lyrics" respectively.
The article also provide a list of the most searched political parties in Canada (Green Party, Liberal, Conservative, NDP then Bloc) and the top celeberities (Britney Spears, Jessica Alba and Heath Ledger coming in the top spots).
Search is a critical component to developing effective communications plans and I think many marketers simply think of it as an afterthought. ("Great, now that we've got the TV spots nailed, let's buy some search words!") Some of the best books I've read this year (Click and Super Crunchers) are solely about using data (and search data) to create campaigns that resonate and stick.
Tools like Google Trends for Search are immensly helpful in understanding seasonal trends in search as well as understading how your target searching for something. There are fantastic, free tools out there that people just don't use when planning campaigns or thinking about their target.