UK “How To” Searches Focus On CVs

    August 7, 2007

We used to keep a pretty close eye on Google’s Zeitgeist; somehow, Hot Trends just isn’t the same. 

But Hitwise UK’s Heather Hopkins has constructed a Zeitgeist-like list of “how to” searches, and this is definitely worth checking out.

UK "How To" Searches Focus On CVs

Hopkins begins by noting that there are differences between US and UK search habits. 

For example, her colleague, Bill Tancer, found that a lot of Americans are curious about “how to tie a tie,” while the British apparently aren’t; the Brits are more concerned with “how to write a cv,” or “résumé,” as it’s more commonly known in the US. 

Yet it’s interesting that both of these queries are conceivably part of the job search and interview process.

Other UK “how to”s were much less related to a business environment; “how to have sex” ranked second, and the similarly sexual “how to kiss” was number five.

Going off in another direction, “how to get a six pack” and “how to lose weight” came in at numbers four and eight, respectively, while the financially oriented “how to make money” ranked sixth.

Yet Hopkins suspects that these queries are all related, writing, “Essentially, we want to become rich . . . and attractive . . . in order to procreate.”  Sounds reasonable – that’s more or less the Hollywood-ized American (and/or British) dream, right?

Anyway, “how to” and “how to get to” were third and tenth on Hopkins’s list, and I have no idea what British searchers were trying to achieve with those fragmented phrases.  As another strange point of interest, Tancer discovered that many Americans are interested in “how to levitate.”  Go figure.

And there you have it; the only remaining “how to” search from the UK’s top ten was “how to save a life lyrics,” and as Hopkins writes, “How to Save a Life” is a song by The Fray that was played on episodes of both "Scrubs" and "Grey’s Anatomy."

By the way – I feel compelled to admit that I’m among those who’ve run a “how to tie a tie” search.  But with my confession comes an explanation: I only wear those decorative nooses every three or so years, and like Google’s Peter Fleischer (and Search Engine Land’s Danny Sullivan), I hate ‘em.