Recently, I’ve noticed a group of search terms that can be classified as ‘self improvement’ type searches. For instance, whilst looking into what languages people wanted to learn online, I noticed that pretty much all of them had a surge of interest in the first week of the new year.
I decided to look at all of these searches together to see what the overall most searched for new year’s resolution was and if this corresponds to any other data.
I grouped the ‘self improvement’ searches together into 5 categories…
and then popped them into Google insights for search…
**Yellow = Job** **Green = Money** **Blue = Weight** **Purple = Gym** **Red = Learn**
(I did include ‘volunteer’ as a group and searches did peak in January for this term however the number of people searching for it was so low, you could barely make it out on the chart).
You can see they all have peaks in January but what is interesting here is the effects of the recession, first pointed out to me by www.nicholine.com in her paper looking at the recessions effect on search behaviour.
If you notice every year, searches including the term ‘jobs’ not only had the biggest overall volume but also the biggest difference in volume between the year as a whole and the spike in January however last year this appeared to drop off dramatically and almost get overtaken for the first time by ‘money’ searches…
**yellow = searches for ‘jobs’** and **green = searches for ‘money’**
My interpretation of this is that fewer people were seeking to change career in the new year last year, looking to hold on to what they had during a gloomy outlook whilst more people were interested in ‘money’ whether that was saving, not spending or earning.
Steady learning and rising weight
People searching to learn a new language or skill in the new year have remained steady since 2004 and yet people looking to lose weight in the new year have slowly climbed in a very consistent way since 2004 with last year being a particularly high peak, coinciding with the relatively high number of increased ‘gym’ searches.
How they compare
It’s difficult to find reliable data online however this report from Marketing Charts seems to back up our findings whereas this from bing suggests fitness is first (although they don’t mention whether or not they actually looked at any finance related data.
US searches for new years resolutions
All the above data was looking at UK searches however if you compare them to searches in the US, you can see that weight is a much (weightier) concern…
Again, **Yellow = Job** **Green = Money** **Blue = Weight** **Purple = Gym** **Red = Learn**
Interesting to see also in this case that whilst searches for ‘weight’ inc weight loss etc are a lot higher than the UK, searches for the gym are actually a lot smaller comparatively – do you want to tell them or shall I?
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