The word “Omicron” had a spike in Google trends due to the recent release of information from South African doctors, Dr. Angelique Coetzee among them, who discovered another Covid variant.
Below, our team at ThriveMyWay has examined the current data of Omicron searches around the world according to the statistics gathered by Google Trends. These trends show the top searches in countries across the globe, as well as the cities searching the most for Omicron.
Methodology of This Research
Google Trends is unfiltered research and data gathered from daily searches on Google from across all nations. It’s categorized into common searches, in this case, Omicron, and ranks the data associated with the topic by country and city.
Google Trends is essentially a sample of all the data Google receives daily. It gives a realistic statistic to the searches people make around the world in the billions, in manageable numbers narrowed down to regions.
As you can see from the graph above, Omicron searches were little to none from November 24th until November 26th when there’s a dramatic uptick in searches. Searches rise and fall after the 26th and are seen going in a downward slope after the 29th. This is likely due to the flow of information being released on news channels.
Interest by Region
See in which location the term “Omicron” was most popular during the specified time frame 26th of November until today 1st of December. Values are calculated on a scale from 0 to 100, where 100 is the location with the most popularity as a fraction of total searches in that location, a value of 50 indicates a location that is half as popular. A value of 0 indicates a location where there was not enough data for this term.
The two maps above show where the most Omicron searches are coming from, with Singapore leading in searches, followed by Cuba and Australia. Singapore’s concern with Omicron may stem from their efforts to combat Covid and its potential variants in order to protect a population living so densely together.
Surprisingly, South Africa is the 10th leading country to search for Omicron, which is strange considering its Omicron’s origin. While South Africa remains in the top 10 countries searching for Omicron, it’s still relatively low compared to Australia, Canada, and other regions.
The number of searches coming from South Africa could be due to this country being Omicron’s Ground Zero. Civilians have access to local authorities who are directly dealing with the variant while other countries around the world need more broad information from the internet.
Interest by City
These maps and bar graphs depict the main cities searching for Omicron. Among the top cities are Singapore (Pop. 5.45 million / 3rd most densely-populated territory), Canberra (Pop. 462,000), Sydney (Pop. ~6 million), Ottawa (Pop. 1.4 million), and Melbourne (Pop. ~5 million).
3 out of the 5 top cities searching for Omicron are in Australia. With the nationwide lockdowns, military involvement, and mandatory quarantine at government quarantine facilities, it’s likely that Australians are watching to see what comes next in the evolution of Covid and its economical and societal effects.
Singapore still leads in the most searches for Omicron, which could be due to their population density and vaccination progress of 96% as of December 1st, 2021.
Conclusion of Data
Overall, we can expect trends of upticks in Omicron searches to continue as more information becomes available regarding the new variant. It seems that searches are mainly coming from areas with larger populations or more strict Covid preventative, containment, and vaccination rates; Australia and Canada being two of the most vigilant countries in the race against Covid.