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comScore: Search term spikes reflect Americans' economic anxieties
Concerns over job prospects and financial wellbeing are being reflected in search terms, according to data recently released by comScore.
The Internet tracking firm noticed dramatic rises in certain search terms such as "bankruptcy", "unemployment" and "coupons" in December, 2008.
The search term that had the biggest increase in use was "unemployment benefits", with an increase of 247% over December, 2007, or around 748,000 searches, reflecting increased concerns about job loss and insecurity. Likewise, visits to online employment websites were also up 17% in January compared with the year before.
Other search terms that witnessed increased use were "bankruptcy", up 156% YoY to 2.6 million searches in December, 2008, and "foreclosure", up 67% to 1.3 million.
"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."
Coupled with employment fears, money-saving techniques were also at the front of consumers' minds. Searches for "coupon" doubled to 19.9 million, while "discount" rose 26% to 6.3 million.
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