The Financial Brand used Google Trends to see how the economic crisis was affecting people’s feelings about their finances and the general state of things.
The Google Trends tool searches Google’s records to see how often people search for certain terms. It graphs out the relative frequency with which these terms have been searched over the last five years. In each graph, the top data line represents people’s searches, while the lower data line shows references in the news. (Tip: You can use commas to compare multiple search terms.)
Using Google Trends, you can get a sense of what people’s feelings and fears are. For instance, in a classic case of “saying one thing but doing something different,” people are increasingly looking for any “silver linings,” yet — at the same time — they are buying more “ammo.”
People have become increasingly concerned about the insured status of their deposits.
Google has already proven it can track the flu as it spreads across the country. Could Google Trends be used as a leading indicator of economic trends too? These graphs show when economic fears became part of the common zeitgeist:
There were whiffs of “crisis” by Fall 2007, but it wasn’t clearly obvious we had a
fully-blown “crisis” on our hands until the stock market crashed a year later.
Notice media references (the bottom data line) don’t really kick in until Fall 2008.
And here are graphs for a few financial services:
One thing is for sure: People’s interest in Twitter is up, up, up!