Searches show people are feeling uncertainty: How Google can help – Business Daily
In the 11 years since I joined Google, I’ve seen a few periods of global uncertainty. Each brought its own degree of uncertainty, and each time, we saw people turn to Google to seek out information to help them make decisions.
In the last 90 days, searches for “Covid symptoms and signs” increased by 350 percent, while searches for “Covid situation in Kenya” and “symptoms of Covid-19” increased by 200 percent. We will continue to provide accurate and timely information on everything from symptoms to vaccines as people strive to return to everyday life.
Additionally, search trends show that apprehension about the climate crisis is growing where Kenya is the second African country searching most for greenwashing in the past 12 months.
The search terms “greenwashing meaning” increased by 40 percent since this time last year. Greenwashing represents attempts by businesses to present their products and operations as environmentally friendly while in reality they are environmentally harmful.
Businesses need to both help customers make small, meaningful changes and to walk the walk themselves, reducing emissions and cutting their footprint. Creating technology to help achieve this is a key part of our role. We want to help one billion people make more sustainable choices by the end of this year.
We are making changes to our most popular products to help make sustainable decisions easier. Our eco-friendly routing, available in Europe later this year, will help users cut their bills and emissions by providing them with the most fuel-efficient route, as well as the quickest. We estimate that change alone could save one million tonnes of carbon emissions a year.
With more people using the internet to manage their daily lives than ever, it is no surprise that we are seeing more searches about cybersecurity and privacy. People want to embrace technology but they want to know that their personal information will be safe.
To help with that, we built many of the Internet’s first tools to manage your data – like the Privacy Checkup, a central place which allows you to review your key privacy settings, and Takeout – where you can download or delete your Google data. We are also working with the industry and regulators to make changes across the board where we are prioritising users’ privacy and security.
People want to understand the wider economic uncertainty – and are keen to save
As our CEO, Sundar Pichai, said recently, we face “an uncertain global economic outlook”. Search trends show that people want to better understand what is happening and how they can manage it.
Search interest in Money peaked in Kenya in May 2022 and the search term, “How to save money” has increased by 20 percent since this time last year.
We have seen this before. During the pandemic, businesses that adopted new digital skills built ‘a digital safety net’. Working in partnership with governments and other organisations, we helped 10 million people to find jobs, digitise and grow across the region – and we stand ready to support again now.
These trends show people feel uncertain about what lies ahead, but no matter where we head, I am hopeful that technology will form a part of the solution. Our mission at Google to make information accessible and useful has never been more important: and we’re here to help.