Google Searches Soar for 'Crisis' and 'Bankruptcy'

New Internet search statistics reveal Russians' growing concern about the country's economic situation.

From September through November, the number of Internet users looking up the word "crisis" was more than five times higher than in the same period last year, according to a new report by Google Russia.

Other hot keywords included "default," "bankruptcy," "credit" and "retrenchment," according to research conducted using Google Insights for Search.

The number of people searching the word "prognosis" grew 50 percent since August, underlying users' concerns about how or when the crisis might end.

Google, the world's dominant search engine, accounts for 21 percent of Russia's 8 million user search market, according to LiveInternet.ru, which rates Internet sites.

Google Russia said the research tried to understand the behaviors of Internet users during the crisis by analyzing how many searches have been done using crisis-related words.

The research data are calculated and plotted on a scale from zero to 100.

The anxiety of Russians regarding a possible collapse of the domestic banking system is also reflected in their Internet searches.

From September to November, the number of Internet users searching for "bank" or "bank bankruptcy" was 15 times higher than it was for the same period in 2007.

Many job hunters expressed their worries online too, the report said.

In October, the number of those who googled such words as "dismissal," "firing," or "retrenchment" was up five-fold compared to 2007.

The number of users interested in the country's labor laws has also surged. For instance, the number searching for information about the Labor Code was up 5,000 percent against last year's figures.

As an economic barometer, the analysis also portrayed how Russians relate to a downturn in the economy, where credit facilities have all but dried up.

The data shows reduced interest in mortgages — or at least in the possibility of obtaining them at a reasonable rate.

In early October, the number looking for the word "mortgage" had shrunk to a third of its level in same period last year.