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Americans Turn To Google And Then Google For Swine Flu Info

After TV tells them to, of course

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When sufficiently scared from TV swine flu hype*, people turned to the Internet for information, specifically Google, according to Pew Internet and American Life.
 

Though most frequented local TV news and cable news (69% and 63%) for swine flu news, half of those polls then turned to internet to find more information. Their chief starting point, as you might imagine was Google. What’s more interesting than that though is, for many, the ending point was also Google.

Searchers began with most with queries like “swine flu symptoms” and “swine flu” were the most popular related queries, topping the list of rising queries in Google Trends. Most of them landed at cdc.gov, the Center for Disease Control website. But if they didn’t trust the government enough on the issue, they opted for the realtime anonymous credibility of Wikipedia, the second most visited swine flu-related site.

The top 10 destination sites were as follows:

1.    www.cdc.gov
2.    www.wikipedia.org
3.    News.google.com
4.    News.yahoo.com
5.    www.myspace.com2
6.    www.cnn.com
7.    www.yahoo.com
8.    www.pandemicflu.gov
9.    www.facebook.com
10.    www.who.int

 

Thanks to government recommendation, though, searchers often ended up at Google’s Flu Trends site, which was able to track certain search terms and IP addresses to get a quick glimpse of how the pandemic was spreading. About 213,000 others saw the CDC’s closed captioned YouTube video about it.

The government was pretty active in general with social media use. After deleting the previous tenant’s tweets, the first official White House tweet (beyond the obligatory “hi everybody”) of this administration directed followers to the new CDC website to more about swine flu and prevention.


*Hype because a) it’s just the flu, man, and b) Fox News’ “Is this the new Black Death?” teaser seemed just a tad over the line.

 

Americans Turn To Google And Then Google For Swine Flu Info
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  • http://www.seosean.com Guest

    wikipedia…! That’s the last source I would go to in order to find accurate information. Also “TV swine flu hype” sounds right, I agree most of it sounds like it is hyped up.

    And you have a 2 there after the myspace.com in your list, might want to correct that :)

  • http://randomplaza.com/help.turing.test.php Alan Turing

    Haha I am reading so many blog entries on all my favorite blogs about how the blog owner has swine flu.