Sunday, October 12, 2008

Blog Traffic, Stress, and Coping

I've noted a number of times that traffic on this blog has increased significantly during periods of market downturns, frequently topping out just as markets bottom. Traffic is currently running roughly 33% above normal, with Thursday setting a record.

I decided to take a look at where these visitors are coming from. Interestingly, over 20% of visits to the blog are coming from Google searches alone. That is over 50% above average. Another 5% of visits are coming from other search engines. During periods of market uncertainty, it is understandable that people cope by searching for information, including psychological perspective. The blog traffic data suggest that this is far and away the greatest period of stress and coping since this blog began several years ago.

And what are the most common search phrases that come to the blog? Included in the top ten are: "consumer staples stocks", "stock market lows", "financial panic", "best time to buy stocks", "panic of 2008", and "market bottom". Sounds more like hope and dread than fear and greed.