Categories: Technology

Google says Coronavirus searches dwarf Super Bowl search up to four times

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Google’s parent company, Alphabet, announced its first quarter earnings in a shareholders meeting yesterday. They shared unprecedented user behavior during the pandemic.

Google announced during its shareholders meeting that the company experienced a double digit growth in its revenue. The big growth may be attributed mostly to the 2019’s strong forecast for 2020.

Unfortunately, even the world’s biggest search engine company didn’t see the pandemic coming. The big revenue growth from the first quarter of the 2020 could easily be wiped out by the downtrend in the succeeding months of the year.

Majority of Google’s business is drawn from its ad sales. Advertisers aren’t jumping in on the opportunity for good visibility within Google’s platform because they themselves are experiencing their own financial troubles.

Moreover, users are also preoccupied with worries regarding the Coronavirus and its subsequent effects to the world as we knew it to be.

Google users are searching about the Coronavirus at a phenomenal rate

According to Alphabet Chief Financial Officer, Ruth Porat, the search volume for information about the Coronavirus dwarfed searches about the Super Bowl at its peak.

The flock to the platform is mainly caused by people’s anxiety towards safety regarding the pandemic.

We’re humbled that users continue to turn to us as much as they do in a time of global need and uncertainty. We take that responsibility very seriously.

Google CEO, Sundar Pichai also adds that people are seeking credible and authoritative advice and guidance for the protection of their own families. In order to address this, the company has installed several measures across its platform to ensure credibility.

Youtube implements a fact check panel

Google announced that Youtube will also crackdown on videos that spread misinformation. The company has already pulled down videos linking 5G technology to the spread of the Coronavirus. It has also pulled down videos about conspiracy theories relating to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Alternatively, Youtube is also being proactive in spreading credible information. The company has implemented a fact check panel on Youtube’s search queries. The initiative was first rolled out in Brazil and India, and the U.S. will soon follow.

The fact check panel will work as a lead-out to a fact checked content about a specific matter. Youtube’s algorithm will read through the search query, and will verify whether there is fact-checked content related to the query.

If so, the fact check panel will flash a content that has been combed through by a third party verifier. Google has partnered with websites such as The Dispatch, FactCheck.org, PolitiFact, and The Washington Post Fact Checker.

Image courtesy of Benjamin Dada/ Unsplash

Steven Hung

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Steven Hung

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