Web developer Antone Roundy used Google trends to aggregate online news content on his News Pulse news project. The numbers were sky high, but monetizing the unrelated traffic proved difficult and the click through rate was minor. Some of the lessons were: don’t drive traffic, get in the way of traffic, and targeted traffic is easier to monetize than untargeted traffic.
As Amy Gahran notes, putting aside the editorial decisions, “using Google Trends to help inform and augment your editorial decisions and quickly create “searchbait” content could yield valuable insight into how to improve the economics of your online operations.”
Here’s a YouTube video on the experiment and more interesting tidbits.