The online search behavior in US seems to have changed significantly due to economic downturn. The number of searches related to terms like ‘unemployment’ and ‘unemployment benefits’ showed a significant increase of over 200%, according to comScore. Searches with terms related to money saving like ‘coupons’ and ‘discounts’ also reported remarkable growth. The traffic to career development sites increased implausibly, according to a similar research conducted by Nielsen Online.
Change in online search behavior due to economic turmoil
There was a dramatic increase in usage of search terms related to economic downturn and unemployment during the past year. According to statistics given by comScore Inc, the most notable search terms were ‘unemployment’ with a 206% YOY increase to 8.2 million search queries, ‘unemployment benefits’ with a 247% increase to 748,000 searches, in December 2008, compared to the same month – a year earlier.
Search terms related to economic crisis, which showed prominent increase were ‘bankruptcy’ with a 156% increase to 2.6 million searches, ‘foreclosure’ with a 67% increase to 1.4 million searches, and ‘mortgage’ with a 72% increase to 7.76 million searches. There was a vivid increase in even search terms related to money saving. Search queries with term ‘coupons’ was up by 161% to 19.9 million.
Career development sites experience 20% increase in unique traffic
The rising unemployment rate and unstable economy improve traffic to career development websites. According to Nielsen Online, the number of unique visitors for career development sites increased to 49.7 millions in January 2009 from 41.5 million in January 2008. This is a significant 20% YOY increase.
The No.1 website in this category was ‘CareerBuilder.com’ network with 20.7 million unique visitors in January 2007-2008. Though this is just 6% growth from 19.6 million in January 2008, the growth in number of visitors is comparably much bigger. Other websites, which reported a significant growth, were ‘Simply Hired’ with 209% YOY growth and ‘USA Jobs’ with 104% YOY growth.
The reflection of impact of recession on online search behavior in US is evident from the remarkable growth in search queries related to terms like ‘unemployment’, ‘bankruptcy’, ‘coupons’, etc. It shows that people have become more concerned about economic crisis, money saving and deteriorating job market. The significant increase in traffic of career development sites also proves the American online searchers have become more alarmed about their career amid the season of layoffs.
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