For more than six years, we have compiled a regular list of popular searches called the Google Zeitgeist. This has been our way to highlight the sorts of queries people type into the Google search box every day. More recently, we unveiled Google Trends to show the popularity of search terms in relation to each other overtime, and how different cities or regions may care (or not) about the trends.

And today we're introducing a new toy we are calling Hot Trends. It's a new feature of Google Trends for sharing the the hottest current searches with you in very close to real time. What's on our collective mind as we search for information? What's interesting to people right now? Hot Trends will tell you. At a glance, you'll see the huge variety of topics capturing our attention, from current events to daily crossword puzzle clues to the latest celebrity gossip. Hot Trends is updated throughout the day, so check back often.

For each Hot Trend, you will see results from Google News, Google Blog Search and web search, which help explain why the search is hot. For example, the #7 item on Thursday, May 17th was the cryptic phrase [creed thoughts]. The associated news stories and blog results show that this odd term is the name of a fake website mentioned on the season finale of The Office. Mystery solved. Of course, some searches are not as easily explained. Visit the Hot Trends group to read the explanations of others and offer your own.

If you want to look further back, you can also see what queries were hot on a particular day. On Wednesday, May 16th, [melinda doolittle], [halo 3 beta], and [ge dishwasher recall] were on the Hot Trends list. If you don't know why, maybe you'll learn something.

Hot Trends aren't the search terms people look for most often -- those are pretty predictable, like [weather] or [games] or perhaps [myspace]. Yes, [sex] too. Instead, the Hot Trends algorithm analyzes millions of searches to find those that are deviating the most relative to their past traffic. And the outcome is the Hot Trends list.

In addition to Hot Trends, we've updated Google Trends so that it's easier to use and, we hope, more useful to you. In addition to viewing the top search terms by country and city, you can view the top "subregions" (e.g. states within the U.S.) across more than 70 countries. You can now compare the leading presidential candidates around the country, for instance, or find out which states have the worst mosquito problems.

With the release of Hot Trends, we're retiring the weekly Zeitgest list, but we will still compile monthly lists for each country, and will continue our annual year-end roll-ups too.

Hot Trends is currently available only in English, but we hope to release international versions in the future.