Skip to main content

Google: Coronavirus searches are four times higher than for the Super Bowl

Google searches for information about the coronavirus have exploded since the crisis began, with the search volume at its peak four times higher than the highest search interest for the Super Bowl, the tech giant’s parent company Alphabet announced on Tuesday.

In the company’s first-quarter earnings call, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said customers were flocking to the service to find reliable information about the deadly pandemic.

“People are being more cautious and seeking authoritative advice and guidance to protect their family’s safety,” Pichai told investors.

At its peak, the search volume dwarfed the Super Bowl — and Alphabet has worked to reduce the amount of misinformation on its various platforms.

“We’re humbled that users continue to turn to us as much as they do in a time of global need and uncertainty,” Alphabet Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat said. “We take that responsibility very seriously.”

Alphabet recently added coronavirus fact-check panels to YouTube results and removed some videos that falsely linked the coronavirus to 5G coverage, a growing conspiracy theory.

Porat said customers were “looking to YouTube for information educational entertainment constantly as they study, create, and work from home.”

Despite seeing growth of 13% compared to Q1 2019, Alphabet saw a “significant and sudden slowdown in ad revenues” by the end of March correlating with areas that, one by one, were affected by the pandemic, Pichai said.

“It really is a tale of two quarters,” Porat added.

Porat said Google and Alphabet would slow the pace of hiring new employees, but is “redoubling efforts” to help advertisers and partners affected by the coronavirus.

Pichai said the tech giant is seeing a trend of businesses transitioning to digital operations and suspected it will continue even after the coronavirus pandemic ends.

“The world will not look the same,” he said.

Paul Squire
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Paul is the News Editor at Digital Trends. Before joining DT, Paul spent 3 years as an editor on the New York Post's digital…
PCI Express 6.0 claimed to be four times faster than the current version
Mac Pro PCIe components.

New PCIe 6.0 technology is in the works, and according to nonprofit electronics industry consortium PCI-SIG, it's in the final draft stages. While it's still early days, new information suggests that PCIe 6.0 will offer speeds as high as 128GB/s, beating the previous gen by a mile. The current standard is still PCIe 4.0, with the 5th generation of the technology yet to be released. Comparing PCIe 6.0 to the PCIe 4.0 standard produces even better results -- PCIe 6.0 will be up to four times faster than the technology we are using now.

PCI Express has to go through five stages before being approved: The concept stage, first draft, compete draft, final draft, and release stage. The Complete Draft stage was reached a little less than a year ago with version 0.7 of PCIe 6.0.

Read more
Will Google ever lose its throne as king of search? Here are its main contenders
Person using Google on a laptop.

“Advertising income often provides an incentive to provide poor quality search results,” Google’s founders, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, argued in a research paper when they were still working out of their Stanford dorm rooms.

Today, Google is synonymous with the web -- but it’s also far from the sort of “competitive and transparent” search engine Brin and Page set out to develop decades ago. Google’s journey into the dictionary and becoming a trillion-dollar empire demanded a slate of fatal modifications to its original blueprint. The result is a search engine that buries organic links under an avalanche of ads, keeps tabs on its visitors’ every move and click, and manipulates results by tapping into the giant pool of data Google harvests from the rest of its services.

Read more