While mental health and the war on drugs are the top most searched issues in Asia, in Europe, online interest in energy followed by that in pollution and sustainability grew significantly over the past three years
This year, the top five most pressing societal issues based on search across the world include mental health, war on drugs, sustainability, public health and pollution, according to a study conducted by Semrush, an online visibility management software as a service platform.
The study, titled 2023 Annual Global Issues Index, is claimed to be designed to inspire organisations to drive corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives.
Co-authored by Columbia University professor Jeremy Kagan, the index reveals the most searched societal issues between January 2019 and June 2023, and how they rank across 35 countries. The study lists the top 10 issues in each country, as well as a global aggregate ranking, from a group of 24 core issues including racism, gun control, sustainability, pollution, unemployment, mental health, the war on drugs and more.
“As a company committed to giving back to our own customers and communities, we wanted to use our data collection expertise to build a resource for organisations to do the same,” said Andrew Warden, CMO of Semrush.
While mental health and the war on drugs are the top most searched issues in Asia, in Europe, online interest in energy followed by that in pollution and sustainability grew significantly over the past three years. Unemployment is the top most searched issue in the US.
In the Oceania region, online interest in sustainability has been growing steadily in the recent years. Sustainability is one of the highest ranked social issues this year in Africa.
Underlining the challenge of understanding the social concerns of different countries, Kagan said, “Protests, local news, segment surveys, and political debate give some indication, but search volume is an amazing way to gain deeper insights on what populations are concerned with- people with access to the internet turn to search to solve problems and to get more information on topics of interest and debate.”
He further added, “The trends we see in the Annual Global Issues Index give us a sense of the changing priorities and relative importance of common topics across nations.”
The index collected more than 157,000 keywords, phrases and queries related to each of the 24 core issues to discover the average monthly search volume for each. The study also identified three of the most visited CSR initiatives being led by businesses, non-governmental organisations or government agencies as a direct response to the top 10 most searched social issues in 2023.
Semrush, headquartered in Boston, enables businesses globally to run search engine optimisation, pay-per-click, content, social media and competitive research campaigns and get measurable results from online marketing. It offers insights and solutions for companies to build, manage and measure campaigns across various marketing channels.