Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What do you have a fear of?

fear of cats

In a new book entitled "Click", the author Bill Tancer explores how analysing what people search for can give us a better understanding of what people really think about a particular topic. Using Hitwise, the author took a look at what people have a fear of, by exploring searched for keywords that contained the words "Fear of" in them.

Search results form all the major UK search engines were used over a period of 12 weeks ending on the 14th of February 2009. Some of the finding were quite surprising:

  • During this period, there were over 8,500 distinct terms containing the phrase ‘fear of’.
  • The most searched for fear was ‘fear of flying’
  • Fear of Cats? The most feared animal it seems is cats at number 2 on the list. As there are no films, bands or books that I can find that have this title, it does seem that lots of people really do seem to have an irrational fear of cats!

Top 10 Fear of Searches:

1. fear of flying (2.27% of all ‘fear of’ searches)
2. fear of cats (1.72%)
3. irrational fear of cats (1.34%)
4. fear of clowns (1.10%)
5. fear of long words (1.01%)
6. fear of heights (0.86%)
7. fear of the dark (0.62%)
8. fear of death (0.61%)
9. fear of spiders (0.43%)
10. fear of crime (0.36%)

You can buy a copy of Bill Tancer’s excellent book Click: What We Do Online and Why it Matters on

No comments:

Post a Comment