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Data From Google on Education Searches

What are prospective students searching for? 

August 26, 2013

According to Google, “Every day Google answers more than one billion questions from people around the globe in 181 countries and 146 languages. 15% of the searches we see everyday we’ve never seen before.”

By analyzing these search queries, Google is in a unique position to spot trends. Google’s Education Team recently released data related to education search. The report analyzes search volume over time using data unique to Google. They separate search queries into five categories: brand terms (includes an institution name); program terms (business, psychology); general terms (online education); degree terms (includes the level of the degree) and MOOC terms. Here are three trends they discussed.

Searches for For-Profit vs Traditional Institutions
Google reports that over the past two years, the majority of education searches include the brand name of a specific institution.  In this report they found that year-over-year in Q2, for-profit institution search queries remained flat, while searches for traditional institutions – particularly their online offerings – rose. 

MOOC Search Volume
In Q2 2013, the number of searches related to MOOCs was on par with the number of searches that included ‘degree-related terms.’  This is not too surprising given the amount of press coverage and debate currently swirling around MOOCs.

Demand for Degree Type
There was 8% year-over-year growth in searches for degree-related terms. The graph below shows growth rates comparing Q2 2012 to Q2 2013.  While the MBA is still the most searched degree-type, there was a 1% decline in volume.

Source: Search Engine Watch article.


You can access the full report here.



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