I was conducting some basic research for a prospective client yesterday using Google Insights and went off on a small tangent which lead me to write this blog post. By the way, Insights is a great SEO tool to help visualize search volume throughout the year by category, geographic location and specific years.
In any case, I was curious to know what the search volume is for “porn” in the good ol’ United States of America. Here’s a graph that shows the gradual increase in search volume since 2004.
Search Volume for Porn in the USA
Notice the jump in search volume in the second half of 2010? Well, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 1 out of every 5 states hit a historical high in their unemployment rate that year. I guess what they say is true - the demand for pornography inflates during a recession (no pun intended). Why? Perhaps it’s a great stress reliever - who knows?
So does this hold true for other countries as well?
Search Volume for Porn in the UK
Search Volume for Porn in Germany
Search Volume for Porn in France
Search Volume for Porn in Italy
This is certainly the case for modernized European countries. Judging from the graphs, there appears to be a strong relationship in the increase in search volume for porn and when the US credit crisis spread to Europe in 2008.
Does this correlation exist amongst non-Western nations?
Search Volume for Porn in China
Search Volume for Porn in Japan
Search Volume for Porn in Brazil
Search Volume for Porn in India
Search Volume for Porn in Singapore
These last few graphs aren’t as prominent as the European ones but the correlation is definitely there - with the exception of China. Although my “research” only comes from one source, I think it’s safe to say that YES, the porn industry has a hard time sagging even during a recession (pun intended). And if this statement holds true (according to the forecast), then the world economy might be improving - if only by a little.
What I can’t seem to figure out is every single one of these countries has a near symmetrical spike at the end of 2005. My recollection of world events is failing me right now but if you have the slightest idea, please don’t hesitate to leave it in the comments below.
Christopher Yee, out!