Daily Management Review

Google says ‘Surge’ in Searches on Irish Passports post Brexit


06/25/2016




Google says ‘Surge’ in Searches on Irish Passports post Brexit
A majority of the UK electorate has chosen to turn its back on EU - the biggest political project in the world and according to Google a lot of the voters aren’t really sure.

At around midnight British time, two hours after the referendum polls closed, Google's Trends Twitter account reported an increase of 250 percent in people searching "what happens if we leave the EU".
Google has said that as news of the UK's decision to leave the EU broke, there was a dramatic spike in searches for Irish passport applications.

Queries from Northern Ireland comprised the overwhelming majority of the searches.

Apart from the "what happens if we leave the EU" search, the search giant also reported that other phrases such as "British independence day" and "Norway EU" were also popular.

However the data does not reveal actual volumes of searches, one expert cautioned.

The highest-ever search interest in sterling was recorded in Google Trends in searches pertaining to the financial implications. Touching a level never seen before 1985, the pound fell by more than 10 percent during the early hours of the morning of the referendum announcement. 

After the EU referendum polls closed, there was a spike in searches for "Move to Gibraltar" from London users.

The search data should be interpreted with special care as only relative figures are known, cautioned Tobias Preis, at Warwick Business School. And hence spikes in some specific activity could be caused by a small number of people.

Prof Preis added that between the hours of 04:00 and 06:00 BST, the phrase "David Cameron" vastly outperformed searches relating to Irish passports and "what happens if we leave the EU".

"It could be the case, for example, that people supporting or opposing the idea of leaving the EU are trying to understand the position of the other party," he also told the BBC.

"It's pretty unlikely that all those people who are searching for answers will up sticks and move," added Jonathan Freeman, director of digital consumer insights firm i2 Media Research.

"Certainly a lot of people were pretty shocked, it was very close - people would have just been wanting to
find as much information as they could," said Mr Freeman - who is also a psychologist at Goldsmiths, University of London.

Google Trends graphs do not track the absolute volume of searches over time although it might not immediately be obvious. They give an indication of relative search popularity instead.

"To do this, each data point is divided by the total searches of the geography and time range it represents, to compare relative popularity. The resulting numbers are then scaled to a range of 0 to 100," explains Google on the Trends website.

For example, the firm adds, regardless of the actual number of searches made, users in Fiji and Canada could have the same value for a given search term if they're equally likely to look for it during the same period.

Source:www.bbc.com) 






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