Tag Archives: swine flu


Swine Flu is good news for WHO. Well, their web traffic…

Research from Hitwise UK this week showed the impact of world events on Internet traffic. The outbreak of Swine Flu in April boosted traffic to the World Health Organisation and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by more than 200% each in just 4 days.

Here’s a graph from Hitwise that shows their traffic.

And of course it also has a huge impact on what people are searching for. UK searches for ‘swine flu’ increased 58-fold for the week ending 2nd May. Of the 10.9 million different search terms that Hitwise monitored over this period, ‘swine flu’ was the 20th most popular.

And as we’ve discussed before, this booming interest in swine flu has meant the cyber squatters have moved in. This is good news of course if your website is all about flu symptoms. But for the rest of us, we can only watch (with our facemasks poised). Time to use the WebEden Website Maker to write about Swine flu?

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Where Swine Flu meets Domain Names

Swine flu and domain names are two things which don’t often come up in the same sentence. But as reported over on the domain name wire, some quick thinking individuals have seen profit whilst the rest of us were seeing panic.

The story here is another one of cybersquatting. The domain names:


…have been snapped up by a couple of individuals. A website has been placed on each domain. One has lots of ads for flu related products, and the other has a form inviting people to leave their details if they’re interested in getting more information about Tamiflu. Both of these are an opportunity for the domain registrants to be able to make a fast buck,

These domain names are riding on the back of interest and concern about swine flu, which has resulted in people searching for swine flu and tamilflu online. And as any person who has been reading our Search Engine Optimisation guide (SEO) will know, it’s easier to rank highly for a keyword if that word is in your domain name.

Roche, the manufacturer of Tamiflu, are using the domain arbitration system to recover the domain names. Until that time, there’s no doubt that the current owners of these domains are clearing some major cash.

For a few years now, Google have mapped the spread of flu across the USA by analysing where and when people are searching for flu symptoms online. The outbreak of swineflu has caused a real spike in flu related searches.

Here’s a graph from Google insights for ‘swine flu’

And ‘tamiflu’

What do you think of these domain buyers? Quick thinkers or a cybersquatting menace? Leave us a comment below.

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