How the UK is searching online for Coronavirus

03 Apr 2020
By Marcus

Coronavirus is impacting us all; and with this, user behaviour changes as everyone is desperately searching for answers and information online during a very uncertain time. We had a look at search data to see how much information people in the UK want to know and what questions they are asking…

Comparing searches for historical some of the biggest search terms in the UK, it is clear the Coronavirus search volume is massive and we believe this is just the start, not the peak.

To give some context, it is estimated that the keyword “Facebook” averages around 55 million searches. Every. Single. Month. This can really start to give you an idea of the scale of searches for Coronavirus!

What people want to know about Coronavirus

Looking deeper into the searches about Coronavirus it is clear the UK public have a lot of questions. Here are the UK’s top search queries for the disease:

Searches for Coronavirus symptoms

This is by fair the biggest related topic. Understandably, the UK want to know the symptoms of this horrible virus to better be able to identify it within themselves if they think there’s a chance that they might have it.

It is pleasing to see that Google quickly adapted to showing relevant information for this search term. We found NHS articles relating to Covid-19 are ranking number 1 predominantly. They have also created a knowledge graph panel to make this information super readable and is also the result given when using voice search.

News about Coronavirus

The next biggest related searches in the UK are looking for specific news sites when searching about Coronvirus. In the last 30 days the top site is the BBC, but there are also a lot of general searches for just Coronavirus news worldwide.

Interesting when we searched for Coronavirus news we saw the BBC was number 1 but it appeared that the results were not localised, with position 2 and 3 being taken by US sites (CNN and NY times).

Coronavirus impact on Italy

It comes as no surprise that this term is so high on the related queries, with Italy now being the country with the highest Covid-19 death toll – also there is a large Italian population within the UK. Digging a little deeper, it appears most people are just trying to understand what is happening in Italy as you can see from the top related searches for Italy Coronavirus.

  1. Coronavirus Map
  2. Italy coronavirus death
  3. How many coronavirus in Italy
  4. Coronavirus latest Italy
  5. Italy lockdown coronavirus

Biggest rise in Covid-19 search terms in the past 30 days

As the virus has spread quickly across the world, we’ve seen the terms that people are searching for changing in real time too. We are also able to see what the biggest rising search terms in the past 30 days are:

  1. Will UK schools close due to coronavirus +3,800%
  2. Coronavirus Italy cases +3,050%
  3. Italy coronavirus map +2,400%
  4. Has Russia got coronavirus +2,200%
  5. Coronavirus in my area +2,050%

Cities with the greatest % of coronavirus searches

Google Trends is also able to give us the data on which city in the UK is searching most for Coronavirus compared to all searches from that area. Interestingly London does not appear in the top 5 despite it currently being referred to as the epicentre of the virus in the UK.

  1. Cambridge
  2. Wick
  3. Oxford
  4. Bournemouth
  5. Edinburgh

There’s no denying that many businesses are rushing to adapt their digital offering following the effect of this pandemic, with most rethinking both their paid media and best ways to gain all important organic traffic.

If you’re rethinking your digital strategy and need help, feel free to get in touch with us!

Method and Data: To gather all data in this article, we used Google trends and Google keyword planner. The date range used was a year, from 24/03/2019 to the 20/03/2020.

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