We’ve analysed the search logs of Trip and we’ve had just under 10,000 searches for COVID-19 and related terms. To date, the vast majority of searches (11 of the 12 most popular searches) were simply searches for the actual disease:
- covid 19 OR “novel coronavirus”
- covid 19
- Coronavirus disease 2019
- Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)
- coronavirus or covid-19
A significant number of variants for the same concept!
The non-specificity of these suggests that these were searches to familiarise people with the topic or evidence base and not in response to a specific question.
In tenth position was the first multi-term/complex search ‘coronavirus diagnosis‘. Interestingly, given the disease variants a better search might have been (covid-19 OR “novel coronavirus”) AND diagnosis – as just searching for ‘coronavirus’ brings in other coronavirus results. Searching for ‘novel coronavirus’ makes the search more specific and reduces the results from 292 to 39.
We then got a large number of repeated searches for coronavirus coupled with countries, all from the Middle East or North Africa, I have no idea why!
It’s not till the 42nd most frequent search term that we get to ‘coronavirus treatment’, followed shortly after by chloroquine coronavirus! After that we get to a real ‘long-tail’ set of results:
- critical care
- blood test nasal swab diagnosis
- patient transport
- PPE or personal protective equipment
Over time, I suspect users will start searching for more specific searches and we plan to periodically update this list.
The main lesson for Trip is that it would be great if we can provide better support our users. We can easily create the synonyms coronavirus or covid-19. But can be transpose coronavirus to ‘novel coronavirus’?