It is no surprise that the top WARC Online search term in 2008 across most of the globe was recession. The only exception was the more economically buoyant Asia Pacific region, where it was in fifth place.  

In comparing search behaviour across the globe, it was evident that many WARC subscribers had similar needs and issues.

The common chart-topping terms across Europe, the UK and Asia Pacific were segmentation (ranking second place both the UK and Europe), integrated marketing communications, product placement and the perennial favourite, sponsorship.

But there were some differences. Generally, the UK preferred to search for brands, with the ever-popular Marks & Spencer, Tesco, Dove, Nike and Apple all listed amongst the top six terms.

And, for some reason, cider was very popular this year – both the generic term and branded in the form of the cider brand, Magners. In Europe the pattern was not dissimilar, although there was less emphasis on brands. 

In the US, brand searches did not feature as heavily, with only Pepsi and HSBC amongst the top ten.

Leadership was at number two: it's not clear whether this represented searches for brands or for personal advancement, especially given the emphasis on management issues rather than advertising.

Broad searches such as budgeting and marketing were in the top ten, but so were more specific terms such as managing change, working capital management, management accounting and human resource management.

In Asia Pacific the focus is on branding practice, with brand equity and brand identity taking the top two slots. Other terms featuring strongly in the top ten were brand architecture, brand image and branding.

Data sourced from World Advertising Research Center (