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Google Search as an economic indicator

June 13th, 2011

Google Search as an economic indicator

Google Search is finding applications that were surely never imagined when it was first launched.

Aside from allowing us all to check on which Middleton sister is appearing in the most search queries, Google is helping to predict outbreaks of deadly diseases in developing countries by alerting authorities to a spike in search traffic for symptoms, treatments and cures.

However, a new possible use for search trends has emerged that could be more applicable to developed countries, where the risk of economic collapse is arguably greater than the chance of an outbreak of disease.

Do you know the true power of search? Let NewsReach help you harness it – call Jacey on 0207 517 2240.Nick McLaren of the Bank of England's Conjunctural Assessment and Projections Division and Rachana Shanbhogue of the Bank's Structural Economics Analysis Division write in its latest quarterly bulletin that Google Trends data can provide a useful barometer-style assessment of changing search volumes.

While it is impossible to determine from the results the total number of queries conducted for a given term, its popularity over time – relative to its long-term average – can be graphically displayed with ease to show whether it is a growing or diminishing concern.

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