Pulse January 2023 - Page 50

Walking into a spa today , with its futuristic treatment technologies and advanced wellness products , is a different experience than it was in previous generations .

PULSE POINTS

BY SCOT T . GILLIES

Delving into Disruption : Search and the Spa World

GOOGLE TRENDS — THE INTERNET DATA TOOL that tracks the popularity of search terms over time — is the ultimate chronicler of our zeitgeist . A great case in point is “ zeitgeist .” That term , meaning the cultural touchstones of a particular era , or the things we care about in a specific time period , was a buzzword about a decade and a half ago . A Google Trends chart ( below , left ) shows searches for " zeitgeist " hovered near zero for years before becoming popular in mid-2007 . By October 2008 , the word was buzzing loudest , with more than a million people looking for answers to their zeitgeist-related questions . Since then , search volume for “ zeitgeist ” topics has tapered sharply , with only one brief rally in January 2011 . Each month in 2022 ,“ zeitgeist ” appeared in Google queries only four to seven percent as frequently as the term ’ s high-water mark 14 years earlier .
It is probably a disservice to Google Trends to introduce it with a trivial example of a somewhat obscure word . Marketers and researchers know the immense value of search records . A review of data from the Google tool reveals the evolution of our mutual preoccupations over the past two decades . The tool helps to identify shifts in what we ’ re thinking about by tracking and comparing global search interest in all topics . If someone has posed a question or searched for information , Google has cataloged the query and combined it with billions of other searches to bring to light what is on our collective conscious .
Another example : Searches for “ spa ” have been remarkably consistent for two decades ( below , right ). They rise in late spring and early summer every year , but the wintertime drop is typically only a quarter lower than the springtime peak . With one notable exception : In late March 2020 , Google recorded an unprecedented two-thirds plummet in “ spa ” searches . Search volume ticked upward again in later months but remained suppressed for nearly a year and a half . No one who was involved with spa services at the start of the global pandemic will question those numbers .
THE TREND OF DISRUPTION : Everything is Changing Google Trends tells us “ disruption ” has been a consistently popular search term throughout the internet age . But more telling is the type of disruption people are looking to learn about .

Walking into a spa today , with its futuristic treatment technologies and advanced wellness products , is a different experience than it was in previous generations .

48 PULSE n JANUARY 2023