UK Search Trends Reflect Economic Fears

    January 28, 2009

Even if news programs offer almost nothing other than economic information these days, it seems that a lot of people are still seeking out more of the stuff on their own.  Fresh search data from the UK reveals that people are studying some rather depressing terms.

Hitwise’s Robin Goad explained his findings by writing, "[S]earches for ‘recession’ increase every quarter when the latest data is released."  Meanwhile, "searches for ‘credit crunch’ have increased six-fold over the last 12 months, but have declined from their peak in September / October last year.  Searches for ‘economics’ have doubled over the same period, with people obviously realising that now is a good time to brush up their knowledge of the dismal science."

UK Recession

And then there’s the one other term Goad tracked: "redundancy."  We can only hope his data reflects that a lot of goodhearted people are trying to help a handful of friends, or perhaps that folks are morbidly curious.  The situation will look less than cheery if every search represents someone whose job is in danger or has been lost.

First study the semi-steady rise in redundancy queries.  Then see how Goad noted, "Whereas much of the search traffic for the other 3 terms goes to Wikipedia, 62.8% of people searching for ‘redundancy’ over the last 4 weeks ended up at Directgov . . . .  Directgov is the British government’s online portal," and many people are going from there to the Department for Work and Pensions.

Spooky.  Perhaps a few blog owners and small companies can capitalize on the search trends and get some traffic, anyway.