What happens to search in a recession?

Good article here on search behaviour and the economy.

Here’s the killer quote:

…while the overall search volume numbers are likely to keep climbing, the nature of those queries is likely to shift in response to macro behavioral trends. Here’s how it works: a barrage of news stories about global economic meltdown causes consumers to get nervous and rein in spending. They don’t shop as much, and even when they do, they buy fewer goods and/or shop less often. This doesn’t necessarily cause them to spend less time online (God forbid) or search any less. It just means they search for different things. So the number of purchase-related queries may decline while the number of information or entertainment-related queries increases.

On a trawl through Alt Search Engines today, I’ll admit to a raised eyebrow having read this press release for new car search engine CarZen earlier in the week.

Given current problems in the US auto market (leading some to contemplate the hitherto unthinkable notion of state-ownership in that industry), it would seem that good timing in the world of search is about more than just how quickly your results are returned.

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