Google Trends in Meditation


Have you ever wondered how interested the world is in a certain topic? Well, Google Trends is a quick and easy way of getting the answer to this question. It shows how often a term is searched in different regions of the world relative to the size of the region. Obviously, this only tells you about parts of the world that have internet access and use Google, but at this point that's a pretty good approximation.

This article is going to lightly investigate the popularity of the search term ‘meditation’, using Google Trends. If you’re looking for a fun exploration of this topic and an introduction to the Google Trends tool, read on!

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Before we get into the trends, below are a couple key definitions from Google Trends that will make understanding the data easier. 

Interest over time: 

This represents search interest relative to the highest point on the chart for the given region and time.

Interest by region: 

This shows the locations that the term was most popular during the specified time frame. Values are calculated on a scale from 0 to 100, where 100 is the location with the most popularity as a fraction of total searches in that location.

Note: A higher value means a higher proportion of all queries, not a higher absolute query count. So a tiny country where 80% of the queries are for "bananas" will get a higher score than that of a giant country where only 40% of the queries are for "bananas".

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Worldwide Interest in Meditation

To start, the worldwide trend in the search term 'meditation' was investigated. The search term is in the top left of the below screenshot. The search criteria is just below that, including the date range, region, categories, etc. There's also the option to compare the search term to another term, but more on that later.

There has been a general increase in meditation interest from 2004 to present time. This coincides with an increase in the popularity of meditation and associated apps, yoga, and a general focus on mental and physical wellbeing. Within the general rising trend there was a dip in interest from 2004 to 2010. The peak interest was around April 2020. COVID-19 related health orders and lockdowns were first implemented in much of the world around this time. Spring of 2020 was the height of COVID-19 uncertainty in most places and for many people it was the peak of life disruption.

Peak meditation interest

Top 10 Countries by Interest

The top 10 countries, ranked by relative interest in the 'meditation' search term contained several western countries - which are generally assumed to place less cultural and religious significance on meditation - and a few eastern countries, which are generally associated with a cultural and religious focus on meditation. 4 of the top 5 countries fall into the western paradigm. Remember that the interest is scaled based on the size of the region, so you can compare between regions directly. Special mention to the Aussies coming in at #1 by interest.

Top 10 countries

Top 10 countries

Top 10 Cities by Interest

The breakdown by city looks different than by country, there were several cities from the western countries like the US, Australia, and Canada. However, there were no cities from the eastern countries on the previous list included here. Perhaps meditation interest is less concentrated in city centers in those countries.

Top 10 cities

Top 10 cities

Top 5 Related Search Terms

Google trends also has some extra bits of info at the bottom of the page. For example, related queries. The related queries show the terms also searched by the people that searched the original term of interest, in this case ‘meditation’. There are two sorting options. ‘Top’ shows the related terms with the most interest and ‘Rising’ shows the terms with the largest recent increases in interest.

Top related terms

Compared to Yoga

The fun doesn't stop with related topics, oh no. Google Trends lets you compare the original search term to any other term. Just for kicks, ‘Yoga’ was plugged in to see how it compared to ‘Meditation’. Yoga has historically gotten a little more love on the internet than meditation. There was also a larger increase in interest from 2009 or so to 2015, shout out to Lululemon. One thing that was interesting was the roughly cyclical peak and trough pattern in the yoga interest. Maybe people get monthly yoga-guilt, or maybe it's related to yoga studio billing cycles, or perhaps it is related to New Years resolutions.

Compared to yoga

Worldwide Interest in Floor Cushions

Now for the really important stuff next. How has floor cushion interest been doing since the turn of the century? Turns out, pretty damn good. Especially lately.

Floor cushion trend

Top 10 Countries by Floor Cushion Interest

Notice that the interest in floor cushions by city is very similar to the interest in meditation interest by city. Unsurprising, because a floor cushion is a great addition to a meditation habit. You can read our [COMPLETE GUIDE TO FLOOR CUSHIONS] for more information. Or, if you're interested in getting a floor cushion you can check out our selection [HERE].

Top 10 cities for floor cushion

Top 10 cities floor cushion

Worldwide Interest in Solum

Lastly, a little self indulgence. Have people been searching for the term ‘Solum’? In fact they have! It was a lot of fun looking through the trends for Solum. We're hoping to help bump these numbers up during our tenure with the name.

Solum trend

Top 5 countries for Solum

I had to find the Solum interest in Canada. We came in at 26th. I assume we were most of that interest while we were naming the company.

Solum in Canada

Google trends is a fun and accessible tool. Hopefully you've seen enough to play around with it yourself and dig into something that interests you. If you find something cool please let us know in the comments or on our [IG LINK].


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