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Digital Marketing

Volcano erupts in Iceland. People change their searching habits.

Recently we’ve looked at how the weather and the World Cup have change what people search for on Google: it looks like a volcano can do it too.

We all know what huge effects the eruption of Eyjafjallajokull in Iceland has had on air travel. Recent data released from online traffic monitoring firm Hitwise UK has shown how it has changed what we’re searching for.

Up to the 10th of April, there were only around 1,000 different search terms that included the word ‘volcano’. The week after, this number exploded to 10,000.

The eruption also had a huge impact on visits to aviation websites, which were up 45% that same week. People were very concerned about how this extreme event would affect their travel plans, but this didn’t stretch to trying to find out more about future impact – weather website traffic was unaffected.

Whilst air travel traffic surged, so did that of trains: Visits to eurostar.com were up 67%, and to ferry companies by 59%.

Here’s a graph from Hitwise:

Are you in related area? Did the volcano eruption affect traffic to your website? Have other events changed the number of visitors you have? Leave us a comment below.

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