Back in May, Google rolled out its top charts page, allowing curious minds to parse through 40 or so categories to get an idea of what's popular on the world's most-used search engine.
More recently, the company has put out a real-time "hot searches" visualization feature and it's rather hypnotic. According to Google, the customizable layout scans the search engine (you can choose your region) and delivers trending search terms and keywords "as they happen."
The results seem to be filtered to be safe for work (there was a most conspicuous absence of the darker, NSFW side that's quite popular among Google search queries) but the visualization still provides a pretty accurate — albeit, censored — snapshot of what the web cares about at a given moment. For example, last night there were a flood of searches for "weather" and "derecho," set off by a major storm system pummeling the Midwest.
The tool is only available right now in the United States and, while it's not NSA-grade, it's easily accessible for your full screen viewing pleasure right here.
Charlie Warzel is a senior writer for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. Warzel reports on and writes about the intersection of tech and culture.
Contact Charlie Warzel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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