You probably already know about Google Trends, if not you should know about it. Google trends, takes I believe 6 years of search history and turns it into a graphical interface to show you search popularity and news.
I use Google trends to check popularity and use the stats for reports I create, which is very useful.
Google today just recently upgraded their trends report and system.
Here is a small snippet from their blog:
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.
Google Hot trends are showing what searchers are searching for almost, well to me it looks as if its real time. I suggest saving this to your favorites as it can be a great asset to see what is popular on the internet these days.
The benefit of having this added to your tools, is you can easily see what is popular and what is not, such as creating a simple digital product. I think this is very similar to eBay Pulse, because it does the same thing with physical products.
Now the only downside is that it should have a RSS feed, so I can see popularity. But other than that it gives top 100 searches by popularity. Right now at 9:50 am EST the most searched item is: "singer irene" and the 100th is "scott krippayne." Very interesting.
Google Hot Trends, can help you with your specific niche and your next marketing scheme.