Searches For Cheap Gas (Sort Of) Unite Society

    November 14, 2007

Gas prices aren’t as bad now as they have been in the past, but they’re certainly not good.  And as usual, search trends have mirrored real-life events, and queries for “cheap gas” and the like have skyrocketed.

“We saw a 6 fold increase in the share of US Internet searches for ‘gas prices’ last week and the term hit its highest peak since May,” reported Hitwise’s Heather Hopkins.  As a result, she “decided to focus on who is concerned most about rising gas prices using our demographic and lifestyle data.”

So what group led the way with its worries?  Old folks who were once able to pay $.25 per gallon?  Parents whose children might wind up spending $10 per teaspoon?  No and not necessarily, according to Hopkins’s look at

Hopkins wrote, “Affluent Suburbia and Small Town Contentment, the two groups most likely, according to offline statistics collected by Experian, to own three or more cars were two of the three groups over-indexed on the website.”

She later continued, “The third group that was over-indexed on was Struggling Societies.  Households in this group were 164% more likely to be on the website than average for the online population – and accounted for 21% of the website’s visits in the past four weeks.  This group is more likely than average to own one small car.”

For the poorer members of our society, that doesn’t sound good.  On the bright side, it’s easier to improve the fuel efficiency of one small car than a fleet of luxury sedans.