We should start with some important caveats about statistical data and how unreliable it can be. But even so, we found these figures rather surprising.

  • Nick Gibbs

Google Search Trends

Google trends is a service that provides statistical information on the use of search terms in  its all dominant search engine.

These figures are relative, so they show the proportion a search term is used compared to its highest point. You might expect that Brand Ibiza would give an ever climbing graph as reflected by our ever climbing tourism figures.

But in this first example based on the single world ‘Ibiza’, the term has been in steady and constant decline since 2004. In 2017 it is returning around 65-70% of it’s peak near the start of the timeline.

We wondered if it might be to do with people now being a little more sophisticated in how they use terms.

We tried Ibiza Holiday…

… but that returned an even sharper decline.

Ibiza Clubs, surely that would be upward …

… but no, an even bigger slump in worldwide search.

Scratches head.

How about Playa Den Bossa, the area that has undergone the greatest upsurge in interest in the last decade …

… and yes it does show the upward climb you would have expected, but even that has slumped back in recent years.

Struggling to find anything that might be considered predictable. How about the main towns, and their search numbers from the UK only …

… well the businesses of San Antonio will be pleased to see they are holding their own.

and if they want to know who they have to thank for that, and at last some data that is no surprise to anybody, have a click on England, then compare it to Scotland, then Wales, and then the quite ridiculous return from Northern Ireland….

So there we are. It took some time, but finally some figures we can relate to.

What does it all mean?

Having started as an exercise of curiosity, I thought i’d better take a closer look.

Google describe it thus “Google Trends is a public web facility of Google Inc., based on Google Search, that shows how often a particular search-term is entered relative to the total search-volume across various regions of the world, and in various languages.”

It seems the industry take it very seriously, with many an article advising business and marketing consultancies to use it as a “critical tool in their strategy planning” and other such terms of jargon filled dynamism.

Perhaps we can look for comfort in the amount of investment Ibiza has received in recent years with hotel after hotel undergoing multi million euro refurbishments. Surely they know what they are doing.

After all, what do Google know, they have been flogging Google + for years, and I do not know one person who uses hangouts.

At least, I hope they have it wrong. They must have, mustn’t they?



Patrick Curran made the well reasoned argument that a reduction in destination search may be the result of an increase in direct to portal search. In so far as access via google’s search is concerned, the results are mixed. Booking.com were only formed half way, skyscanner have done well, Expedia are still huge but falling considerably – and i tried to think of someone else big that far back, bless lastminute.com, they never were as big as i thought.

Actually, I wonder if …

… b#!!&$£s. I’m fed up with this now.