Americans’ Online Search Behavior Points to Significant Increase in Personal Financial Turmoil

Searches Using Term ‘Unemployment’ in December Triples versus Year Ago

RESTON, VA, February 24, 2009 – Comscore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR), a leader in measuring the digital world, today released an analysis of changes in Americans’ searching behavior resulting from the economic downturn, based on December 2008 data from Comscore Marketer, a search intelligence tool.

Searches for several terms related to the economic downturn showed dramatic gains during the past year. Among the most notable increases were searches relating to the deteriorating job market, including searches using the term “unemployment” (up 206 percent to 8.2 million searches) and “unemployment benefits” (up 247 percent to 748,000 searches). Meanwhile, terms relating to personal asset situations, including “mortgage” (up 72 percent to 7.8 million searches), “bankruptcy” (up 156 percent to 2.6 million searches), and “foreclosure” (up 67 percent to 1.4 million searches) also grew strongly. And Americans, resilient as they are, are seeking ways to save money, as evidenced by the increase in the number of searches for “coupons” (up 161 percent to 19.9 million) and “discount” (up 26 percent to 7.9 million).

Growth in Search Terms Related to Economic Downturn
December 2008 vs. December 2007
Total U.S. – Home/Work/University Locations
Source: Comscore Marketer
Search Term Total Searches (000)
Dec-2007 Dec-2008 % Change
“Coupons” 7,637 19,921 161%
“Unemployment” 2,688 8,214 206%
“Discount” 6,271 7,928 26%
“Mortgage” 4,518 7,756 72%
“Bankruptcy” 1,012 2,589 156%
“Foreclosure” 824 1,373 67%
“Unemployment Benefits” 215 748 247%

“Online behavior has come to reflect the interests or concerns of Americans, and we are certainly seeing this manifest itself with respect to the economic downturn,” said Comscore chairman Gian Fulgoni. “Search volume using terms relating to the economy has ballooned over the past year as Americans have become increasingly concerned over their economic wellbeing.”

Unemployment Searchers Skew Younger, Lower Income

To illustrate how different segments of the population might be affected by these economic conditions, Comscore examined the demographic profile of those who clicked on a link following a search using the term “unemployment”. .The profile of these Internet users generally skewed towards those households with a head younger than 35 years of age and households earning less than $50,000 a year. They were also significantly more likely to use Yahoo!, MSN-Windows Live, or Search than Google or AOL search.

Profile of Search Clickers Using the Term “Unemployment”
December 2008
Total U.S., Age 18+ – Home/Work/University Locations
Source: Comscore Marketer
Term: “Unemployment” Share of Clicks Following Search Index*
Age of Head of Household
18-24 4.2% 118
25-34 23.5% 126
35-44 24.4% 86
45-54 26.5% 96
55-64 14.4% 101
65+ 7.1% 90
Household Income
<$25k 12.2% 130
$25-49k 23.5% 123
$50-74k 26.2% 97
$75-99k 14.4% 81
$100k+ 23.7% 89
Search Engine
Google Search 60.8% 87
Yahoo! Search 23.3% 121
MSN-Windows Live Search 10.0% 172
AOL Search 2.3% 76 Search 3.6% 156

*Index = share of clicks on “unemployment”/share of clicks for all searches x 100; Index of 100 represents parity

About Comscore

Comscore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR) is a global leader in measuring the digital world and preferred source of digital .marketing intelligence. For more information, please visit

Andrew Lipsman
Comscore, Inc.
+1 312 775 6510


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