May 26, 2022

A New Global Data Dashboard From The World Bank, “Evolution of the Pandemic Through the Lens of Google Searches”

From The World Bank Data Blog:

…a [new] global dashboard that compiles publicly available Google search data and can be used by policymakers and the general public to understand how internet search interest for different terms or phrases can be used to effectively assess the spread of the coronavirus in real-time for almost 200 countries worldwide.

Source: The World Bank Data Blog

Search interest for various symptoms of coronavirus is highly correlated with administrative COVID-19 cases and deaths as reported by the WHO, especially in countries with relatively well-developed reporting capacity. The correlations have been stable over time for the majority of countries, suggesting that even several months into the pandemic, when people fall sick, their information needs remain high

Source: The World Bank

Search interest precedes official data by more than a week, on average, predicting spikes in the incidence of the disease. Observed instances with high search interest but low reported administrative cases are suggestive that the dashboard can warn of potential underreporting.

Direct to Complete World Bank Blog Post (approx. 1160 words)

Direct to Data Dashboard

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.