It’s no secret that the economy is currently in a state of flux. Rising oil and gas prices have a way of financially affecting almost every aspect of our lives. The word "recession" has been floating around for the better part of a year now and worried consumers are trying to keep tabs on the financial markets more than ever.
This consumer anxiety becomes apparent when looking into the traffic of the financial sections of popular domains such as yahoo.com, msn.com, and google.com. These sites have seen a great deal of growth over the past year. MSN Money and Yahoo! Finance have had year over year growth of 27% and 77%, respectively. Google Finance has experienced a whopping increase of over 20,000%. Granted this area of Google’s domain was still in its infancy last year, the increase in traffic has been quite steady compounded by a 1,334% jump from May to June of this year. The increase in traffic to these sites is even more fascinating when considering that the largest domain level growth was google.com at 13%. Yahoo.com and msn.com experienced more modest yearly progress with 5% and 3% improvements.
Determining the root cause of the increase in visitors is an inexact science since there is a wide variety of information available when visiting these financial hubs. One trend for Yahoo! Finance is the increase in visitors checking specific stock quotes and tracking custom portfolios. Year-over-year growth in these particular activities has been close to 28% each.
These trends indicate that the online population is increasingly interested in keeping a pulse on not only the financial markets, but on their personal livelihood as well. It is no secret that in troubling financial times people tend to worry about retirement savings and personal investments even though they are long term in nature. Investors just have to remember our history indicates the further we fall, the greater we bounce back.
*** UPDATE*** Since this blog was first posted we have had a chance to revisit the historical data related to Google Finance. We discovered that the trended data dating back to June of 2007 was undercounted which in turn augmented the growth figures reported for this subdomain. Year over year for Google Finance was actually 169% which still indicates a great deal of momentum for this financial hub. This represents growth that is still significantly greater than that of both Yahoo! Finance and MSN Money but to a lesser degree. Below is a revised graph to show this reported change.