Learn From Google Trends Data

Search engine traffic provides insight into consumer interests.

January 14, 2013

What can Google Trends data tell credit unions about the financial services industry?

A lot, according to The Financial Brand.

For example:

  • New delivery channels gaining steam. The introduction of widely available smartphones exploded search activity related to mobile banking. Search activity also significantly increased for tablet banking after Apple’s iPad burst onto the scene in 2010.
  • Uncertainty about video technology. Video banking inched along until it enjoyed a brief surge of popularity between 2009 and 2010—when search volumes spiked 150% before settling down.
  • Less consumer interest in loans. Search volumes for every kind of loan are down, illustrating consumers’ disinterest (or economic incapacity) for taking on long-term credit. The only exception is car loans, with search volumes edging up slightly since 2009.
  • More interest in short-term credit. While long-term lending is trending down, interest in credit cards has moved steadily upward since the onset of the recession.
  • Less interest in free checking. While there was a brief, albeit significant, spike in searches for free checking between mid-2008 and mid-2009, people aren’t looking for fee-free accounts in numbers like they once were.