Googler Nimrod Tamir described Hot Searches on the Official Google Blog:
With Hot Searches in Google Trends, you can see a list of the fastest rising search terms in the U.S. for a snapshot of what’s on the public’s collective mind. To create the Hot Searches list which is updated on an hourly basis, an algorithm analyzes millions of searches in the U.S. and determines which queries are being searched much more than usual.
The updated section now highlights the key word for queries with rich images and links to related reports for the most searched news in the United States. It also details how many folks Googled each spotlighted tidbit during the last day, while scaling back the amount of content it shows. Google previously displayed 20 results, but now it only shows a few Hot Searches (as indicated in the top image).
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