Who’s afraid of the big bad GDPR?

Whilst created primarily as a tool to help users to select keywords for their Google Adwords campaigns, the rather wonderful Google Adwords Keyword Planner[1] allows you to enter a subject keyword or phrase and find out what related keywords, are being searched for, and the average number of searches per month for each. 

big bad wolf

We had the idea to use this to gauge how interest in GDPR had changed in the last 12 months in a few key EU and non-EU countries.

We looked at how often per month the term “GDPR”, and its local language equivalents, were being searched for, over both the last 12 months and the 12 months prior to that. It certainly makes interesting reading.

As expected, all countries showed an increased level of searching in 2016-17 compared to 2015-16. More interesting was the difference in numbers searching for the term, as a proxy for how engaged with the subject each country was.

Italy, The Netherlands and Spain

These countries appear to be either uninterested or unconcerned by the legislation, with search rates typically rising from 500-700 to 1000-5000. This was also true of Switzerland: a non-EU country but one with strong trading links to the EU.

France and Germany

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the big two, were significantly more engaged, rising from 1,500-4,500 to around 16,000 searches per month.


The ‘Capital’ of the EU seemed less interested in its own legislation being, at around 10,000, half way between the two groups.


At the recent Microsoft Dynamics Summit in Nashville, there was a general feeling that the US had not started to engage with GDPR, despite the fines being applicable to them if marketing to EU citizens. However, the data contradicts this with a huge increase in searching in the last year: a big 834% increase in searching to a monthly average of 27,000. Whether for interest or concern, the USA is definitely sitting up and taking notice  of things across the pond.google analytics

United Kingdom

The biggest surprise of all was the staggering level of interest in GDPR in the UK with 90,000 searches per month on average: an increase of over 1000% on the previous year.

The UK may be leaving the EU, but on this basis, its hard to deny that either the opportunity presented by GDPR fascinates us, or we are terrified by it.

Which do you think it is? Leave a comment below.


[1] https://adwords.google.com/KeywordPlanner#start

One thought on “Who’s afraid of the big bad GDPR?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s