EU referendum: Brits’ search habits reveal quest for information online

18/03/2016

There are now less than 100 days until the Uk makes big decision around whether we stay in Europe. In the run up to the 23rd of June, Hitwise, a division of Connexity, lifts a lid on the different behaviour witnessed across the UK when it comes to learning and informing their decision.

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Searches around the Referendum (UK searches across the time period of 14th Feb – 12th March 2016):

• The data reveals that we are still unclear about what the decision will mean for us, but different ages are turning to different websites to make their decision

• 18-25 year olds are five times more likely to search for ‘EU Referendum Wiki’ than 55+ year olds , who instead opt for the ‘BBC News Referendum’ (167% more likely to search ‘BBC News Referendum’ compared to 18-25 year olds)

• But it’s men who are the true fact finders, searching for phrases such as ‘question’, ‘facts’ and ‘odds’, over 100% more so than females

• 18-25 year olds appear to be the most eager to make their vote count in the referendum as 33% are more likely to be searching to ‘register to vote’, than those 55+

• Keen to keep up to date with the referendum’s most recent developments, the younger generation (18-25 year olds) are 9 times more likely to search for the ‘latest’ EU Referendum opinion than those aged 55+

• However, this older group of searchers (55+) are still trying to get their head around the news, searching five times more for ‘EU Referendum explained’ than their younger counterparts

• Interestingly, Men are gamifying the socially significant event, turning to betting to make their decision clear - searches for ‘referendum betting’ were four times than that of women, with the 55+ year olds searching 118% more so than Gen Y (18-25 year olds)

• Finally, ‘Boris Johnson’ appears to be resonating with the older generation in the run up to the EU Referendum, with 55+ year olds searching five times more than those aged between 18-25. Interestingly, it’s men who dominate these searches, and are 122% more likely to search for London’s Mayor than females

Nigel Wilson, managing director at Hitwise, a division of Connexity, says: “Socially significant events such as the EU Referendum are prime examples that show how living data, reflected by how we behave online, differs dramatically by audience gender and age. Today marks the 100 day countdown and it is clear from our data that audiences are still trying to fact find and educate themselves on the impending Brexit decision. We expect this hunger for information to increase as we draw closer.”

Source: Hitwise

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