What do Google search queries reveal about brand attitudes?

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Drexel University

It has been widely thought that brand search volume -- the counts of queries that a search engine receives from users that include specific brand names, like "iPhone" -- can predict sales for that brand. Google makes this information available to marketers for free through Google Trends, an application that allows anyone to see how frequently popular brand names are searched, and it has become a valuable tool for marketers. But new research from Drexel University, Brigham Young University and Google shows there is a lot more to consider when looking at the large number of queries that include brand names.

In order to investigate the relationship between brand attitudes and search engine queries, the researchers -- Jeffrey P. Dotson, associate professor of marketing and global supply chain at Brigham Young University; Elea McDonnell Feit, assistant professor of marketing at Drexel University; and Ruixue Rachel Fan, Jeffrey D. Oldham and Yi-Hsin Yeh of Google -- studied over 1,500 Google users who opted in to have their searches related to smartphones and vehicles tracked over a period of eight weeks and then linked their responses to a traditional brand attitude survey.

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