Recalls Rise In Search Significance

    April 16, 2007

Almost one month ago, fellow WebProNews writer Jason Lee Miller covered the Menu Foods pet food scare.  To date, his article has garnered 47 responses – a WebProNews record, as far as I know, and that proves a point: various recalls have become a very big deal in recent days.

Take another example.  I just performed a search for “recalls” on Google News, and got 17,338 results (the top story, by the way, is about some high-tech Japanese toilets that have been known to catch fire).  For the term “Yahoo,” I got only 16,908 results.  Something is definitely happening, and Yahoo’s Gordon Hurd has taken note.

“When a well-known product is pulled from the shelves it can cause concern for consumers everywhere,” Hurd wrote on Yahoo’s Buzz Blog.  “[W]e saw new surges inspired by a Listerine recall (1,435%), as well as a recall of a half-million Ford Escapes.”  I should note that those Fords’ brakes can go up in flames . . . but perhaps comparisons between them and bathroom fixtures are best saved for another day.

In any event, consumers need not blindly wonder what unsafe products are lurking out there – Hurd compiled a list of them for everyone’s benefit (or, to be more accurate, a list of Yahoo’s top twenty recall queries).  Of those, exactly ten are pet food-related; the others are a bit scattershot.

Yet as these recalls pass and others crop up, consumers will need to stay up-to-date.  To that end, you can keep an eye on and the official FDA site.  Alternatively, you can putter around your favorite search engine – while I’m sure its owners regret the implications of all these recalls, they’re not going to turn away the extra traffic.