Declining Google Trends of public interest in biodiversity: semantics, statistics or traceability of changing priorities?

Abstract

The paper examines a series of critiques and alternative propositions regarding the assumption of declining public interest in biodiversity related issues uncovered by Google Trends of query volumes since 2004. GTs are compared to actual results of public opinion polls among European Union nationals during the period 2004–2016. Critiques are re-examined at both the statistic and cultural-linguistic level. Results tend to support the initial statement of declining GT for biodiversity. The need for a new communication discourse regarding biodiversity issues is repeated if public opinion is to be engaged in conservation issues.

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Acknowledgements

The author expresses his thanks to Dr. M. McCallum and anonymous reviewers for their help in improving considerably the initial form of this paper.

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Correspondence to Andreas Y. Troumbis.

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This article belongs to the Topical Collection: Biodiversity appreciation and engagement.

Communicated by Peter Bridgewater.

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Troumbis, A.Y. Declining Google Trends of public interest in biodiversity: semantics, statistics or traceability of changing priorities?. Biodivers Conserv 26, 1495–1505 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10531-017-1294-z

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Keywords

  • Google Trends
  • Biodiversity
  • Climate change
  • Public opinion
  • Interest