Google trends and the scale of the industry

So I’ve been enamored with Google trends lately. Got curious about how geography, web searches, and the passage of time apply to the field. So I did a few trends searches at:

using the terms “product development,” “new product development,” “industrial design,” “product design,” and “cost reduction.” Not sure what I’d find - but I thought the results were interesting, as in most of these there was a marked decline in search volume (you may also want to isolate searches to business categories, or not). In some cases a halving - this is since roughly 2005 or so - give or take. Cost reduction really spikes between late '07 and early '10 if you don’t isolate it to business.

What I am interested in, is how these search trends may apply to the state of the NPD/ID biz as whole. It would be easy to say the business has been contracting for five years based on search volume, if you take it at face value. Or maybe more people are becoming more aware and searching these terms less often. What do you think the trend(s) is/are? Discuss.

The numbers aren’t absolute volumes - they show the search volume as a fraction of total google search volume, normalized to a scale of 0-100. As the internet grows, you’d expect the relative volume of any one area to fall. The only thing you’d see rising trends for are recent and growing phenomena like facebook, twitter, 3d-printing, etc.