Google usually does not reveal too much detail of its search traffic, but when it does, there may be some interesting implications of user behavior.
As part of its financial website, Google allows users to compare search traffic of aggregated industries against the developing price of stock. The search traffic is normalized to the value of 1.0 and the search volume that occurred on January 1, 2004. Don't expect any dramatic revelations or search numbers or even a search volume pertaining to a single company. However, the selection of 27 industries and related search terms may cause some speculation of a changing way how we acquire information.
For example, the data suggests that the search volume of traffic that targets computing topics has decreased by 52 percent since 2004. Of course, without knowing the details on how Google selects this traffic, it is rather adventurous and even silly to suggest that we do not search computing topics as much as we did eight years ago. Interests could be shifting and Google may not be able to capture the changes right away. Also, some of the graphs are somewhat misleading considering the nature of periodic seasonal search spikes.
Yet it is startling that there has been a persistent decline in this segment. Though, most other segments seem to be suffering as well; advertising is down, as are business and industrial, commercial lending, construction, durable goods, finance and investing, and furniture. The search areas that gained are especially credit cards, mobile devices, mortgage and rental. Google says that its search index can reflect consumer behavior and if we are looking at our economic environment, they may have a case here. We surely live in times that may encourage interest in credit cards, mobile devices, mortgages and rentals.
Nevertheless, the decrease in the computers and electronics segment may be surprising.