5 Common Doctor Google symptom searches
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5 Common Doctor Google symptom searches

What are Australians searching for on Google when it comes to their health symptoms? MedicalDirector’s recent report, Doctor Google, How Self-Diagnosis Impacts Clinical Care, reveals Googling symptoms has become something ingrained and habitual amongst Australians.

The research, which recently gained significant media coverage, including being featured on Channel TenChannel SevenSky NewsSunriseThe Daily Telegraph and A Current Affair, showcases some interesting Google Trends* and seasonal instances when Australians are turning to Dr Google for health answers.

Winter bugs

Flu season drives a high volume of search traffic for Australians turning to Dr Google for answers. Though spiking up and down throughout the year, Google searches for ‘cure a cold’ peaked at 100%** between 27 May 2018 and 10 June 2018, right when Australian weather is turning chillier.

Spring sneeze

Nothing like a little pollen in the air to get people searching for hayfever health tips. Searches for ‘hayfever cure’ peaked at 100%** popularity in the second week of September 2018, when spring weather – and pollen – starts to bloom.

Outbreak panic

During the rockmelon listeria outbreak of March 2018, searches for ‘listeria symptoms’ jumped from 0%** in late February 2018 to a drastic 100%** just 1 week later, in early March 2018. The figures dropped back to 0%** in April 2018, tracking the news cycle of this event almost day for day.

Christmas indulgence

Christmas is the time for fun, festivities and asking Dr Google for indulgence relief. Google searches for ‘heartburn cure’ hit their peak popularity between 24th December-30th December 2017, at 100% search interest.**

New Year’s resolutions

Google searches for ‘how to lose weight’, although popular throughout the year, peaked drastically at 100%** in the first week of January 2018, a nod to New Year’s resolutions, and again with the weather warming in early Nov 2018.


*Google Trends research tracks Google searches in Australia based on their peak popularity using Google Trends search.

**100% is the highest possible popularity Google Trends can record when compared to the rest of the search period, with 0% indicating not enough recorded data was captured to track as a search trend. In this case, the search period studied was December 2017—December 2018 for Australia only.


To access MedicalDirector’s FREE report, Dr Google, How Self-Diagnosis Impacts Clinical Care, click here.