Google has so many neat little tools available. A colleague showed me this one last night. You can use Google Trends to compare search keywords on up to 5 topics over a period of time. Google Trends graphs it for you automatically.
Separate your search terms with commas. So, a search for “clinton, obama, mccain, huckabee, romney” would result in http://www.google.com/trends?q=clinton%2C+obama%2C+mccain%2C+huckabee%2C+romney and in typical Google fashion the graph is mapped to articles – generally at peaks. It’s a VERY good tool to research current events as students can research the reasons for spikes in the searches. For example, why does a search on “Bush” spike in the latter part of 2004? Try searching for “violence, grand theft auto”. The resulting graph is actually highly INVERSE proportional. Who knew?