It’s Different This Time: Bitcoin Searches on Google Surpasses 2017 Bull Run
Bitcoin currently on a trajectory that could see it surpass the highs of the 2017 bull market. With just about every metric ticking up, it appears that more people are keeping tabs on it online. Earlier this week, Brad Michelson, a senior marketing manager at investment platform eToro, confirmed that Bitcoin’s search volumes have been on the rise.
SEMRush vs. Google Trends
Citing data from the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) platform SEMRush, Michelson explained that global monthly searches for Bitcoin on Google amounted to 8.9 million. The marketing expert compared these numbers to those of November 2017, confirming that they were 356 percent higher.
An interesting thing that @Google Trends data hasn't shown is that the monthly global volume for #bitcoin in Dec 2017 was actually lower than what we're seeing in Nov 2020 (via @semrush).
Dec '17: 2.5M vol
Nov '20: 8.9M vol
There is a very reasonable reasons for why…
— Brad Michelson (@BradMichelson) November 19, 2020
Comparing the results to those of Google Trends, Michelson noted a significant discrepancy.
“An interesting thing that Google Trends data hasn’t shown is that the monthly global volume for Bitcoin in Dec. 2017 was actually lower than what we’re seeing in Nov 2020.”
It’s worth noting that Google Trends counts metrics differently from platforms like SEMRush. The tracker plots interest against time, assigning every search term an interest score between 0 and 100. Every term gets a value depicting assumed popularity.
Following Google Trends data, Bitcoin’s popularity as November 2017 peaked at 100 between December 17 and 23 – the exact time the asset hit its all-time high. The term currently logs a score of 18, suggesting fewer people are actually keeping tabs on the asset. However, the service also comments that data for the popularity value is currently incomplete.
Google Trends data also shows that Nigerians are the ones searching the most for Bitcoin. In fact, the African country is the only nation with a popularity score of 100 on the trends list. Ghana and South Africa round out the top three with scores of 70 and 59, respectively. This goes to show, once again, that interest in cryptocurrencies on the African continent remains strongest.
A Matured Market Separates This Bull Run from the Last
Giving reasons for the discrepancy, Michelson noted that Google Trends only shows data based on one keyword. So, anyone searching for “Bitcoin” only gets results for the popularity of the word. Google Trends has exclusive scored searches like “Bitcoin price” and “Bitcoin to dollar.” Both terms have popularity scores of 18 and 33, respectively, on the tracker.
Interestingly, South Africa and Nigeria are the countries with the highest search counts for the two terms.
Going by SEMRush data, it’s understandable that “Bitcoin” searches would have risen. The market has matured significantly since it fell off that $19,700 pedestal in December 2017. It appears to have weeded out some of the weak investors who only saw it as a get-rich-quick scheme.
This isn’t to say that the market hasn’t added more participants as well. Last week, crypto analytics provider Glassnode reported that the number of new BTC addresses hit 25,000 for the first time since January 2018. Some of these will be people looking to capitalize on the market rally, but a vast majority should be serious investors.
To sum up the difference between this bull market and the last, Nic Carter, the co-founder of crypto data platform CoinMetrics, said in a blog post:
“To sum up, today’s market is far more mature, more financialized, more surveilled, more orderly, more restrained, less reflexive, more capital-efficient, and more liquid than the market that powered the prior bull run in 2017.”