Flu Search Query Trends in Google — Paid Search Opportunity?

If you live in temperate climes of the Northern Hemisphere, you should by now be searching for [flu” or [flu shot” in droves, according to Google. Year-on-year trend suggests that this will be the case in October. See [flu” and [flu shot” Google Insights trends.

If you’re in the United States, public health messages and a vaccine finder from Flu.gov are incorporated in the SERPs for these queries.

Flu Facts

The United States maintains the highest level of interest. Based on search interest data for the past six years, the average American is more likely to search [flu” over [flu shot” by up to eight times.

Relative Search Interest Flu Flu Shot

Source: Google Insights for Search

Delving deeper into the U.S., regional searches differ for both with West Virginians most likely to search [flu” and Minnesotans [flu shot”.

Flu Search Interest U.S.

Flu Shot Search Interest U.S.

Source: Google Insights for Search

Rising searches from September were mostly centred around the flu vaccine, its cost, and two chain pharmacies.

Rising Searches Flu Flu Shot

Of particular interest is the commercial intent for these terms and the level of paid search investment. With the public messaging in the SERPs, has this created a market for paid search traffic?


Some may also find this piece of research interesting. You can also explore global flu trends based on search activity at www.google.org/flutrends/.

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