Search a Real Downer

The latest numbers from comScore show how the mood of the nation has shifted, and how it’s being reflected in what we search for. This is a topic I’ve talked about numerous times, so rather than spout it all again, I’ll just provide a few links to past posts. But I think one of the tables from the comScore release paints a pretty sobering picture:

Growth in Search Terms Related to Economic Downturn
December 2008 vs. December 2007
Total U.S. – Home/Work/University Locations
Source: comScore Marketer
Search Term 
Total Searches (000)
Dec-2007
Dec-2008
% Change
“Coupons”
7,637
19,921
161%
“Unemployment”
2,688
8,214
206%
“Discount”
6,271
7,928
26%
“Mortgage”
4,518
7,756
72%
“Bankruptcy”
1,012
2,589
156%
“Foreclosure”
824
1,373
67%
“Unemployment Benefits”
215
748
247%
“Online behavior has come to reflect the interests or concerns of Americans, and we are certainly seeing this manifest itself with respect to the economic downturn,” said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. “Search volume using terms relating to the economy has ballooned over the past year as Americans have become increasingly concerned over their economic wellbeing.”
Gian and I talked about this almost a year ago at the Search Insider Summit in Florida. That lead to a column in Search Engine Land talking about how whatever is top of mind for us translates into search activity – Battelle’s Database of Intentions. Ironically, this same tendency is one of the reasons why I think Search will do particularly well in the current economic meltdown – the subject of another Just Behave column.

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