Search Trends That Surround A Disaster

By jameszol
Published on November 19, 2007

I love Google Trends…we can learn a lot, speculate a lot, and try to see/prepare for trends BEFORE they happen…

Whenever an unfortunate event or a disaster affects a nation, the paid search market (and a lot of other markets) are affected, causing a ripple effect of losses (for some) that extend beyond the reach of those unfortunate enough to be directly in the path of the disaster.

Businesses can take advantage of a disaster through education and sales via pay per click ads. I mean that in the sincerest form – respecting all who are negatively affected by a disaster. Businesses are in a unique position because they can teach everybody that suddenly find themselves searching for a preventive/preparative solution while increasing sales and bringing peace of mind to individuals everywhere.

California Fires

Fire Proof vs Fire Retardant trends – Click image to enlarge

There is a steady, even search trend for fire proof and fire retardant until disaster strikes. Then we can see a clear demand for understanding or education and we can assume there will be an inherent demand for preventive or preparatory maintenance regarding fire.

Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane Insurance vs. Flood Insurance trends in 2005 – Click Image to enlarge

A lot of people are still recovering from these disasters – and we know Hurricane Katrina is considered one of the deadliest hurricanes ever. So how do we prevent or prepare for such an event? Storage, insurance, and simple preparation will probably not really prepare us for the impact of an event like this, but it can help us more than hurt us. Where do we find these items? We can naturally search for them…and the trends indicate that searching is exactly what a good portion of us do during the times we are deeply impacted and saddened by a disaster – even if we are thousands of miles away.

Whenever we see an increase in search volume, we typically see a rise in the number of clicks on the paid search ads. While these aren’t very transactional terms, a good business will strive to meet the needs of those performing the query with education and products so their costs aren’t completely without reason.

A major disaster, and even local disasters, give businesses a unique opportunity to grow while meeting the needs of others – as long as it is done in a fair, non-predatory way.

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