I recently came across some very cool tools that search advertisers use to create and manage their campaigns but which I also think can be used for other purposes.
I am not going to go into detail as to how you can use these tools for research, I will leave that up to you to figure out. What I am going to say is that in my business of examining start-ups, gathering data and developing sales and marketing strategies, these types of tools are very valuable. I can gather competitive information and do research that may help me to uncover a strategy that was not readily apparent. Examining trends is extremely important in and of itself and as a student of popular culture, these types of tools are invaluable.
Anyways, I don't want to take too much of your time. Check them out for yourself!