Sydney: A simple Google search could be as good as a stockbroker in predicting someone's fortune, according to a UK research.
A seven-year analysis of changes in Google search volumes for finance-related topics has revealed patterns that can be interpreted as "early-warning" signs of stock market moves, reports News.com.au.
Researchers Tobias Preis, Helen Susannah Moat and H. Eugene Stanley studied Google searches from 2004 to 2011 to understand the information-gathering process that precedes stock market trading decisions.
They found that data capturing changes in Google search behaviour would have been able to anticipate some future stock market trends. The researchers say their study supports the idea that drops in global markets may be preceded by periods of investor concern in which they search online for information that informs whether they buy or sell.
The joint University of Warwick, Boston University and University College London study is one of an increasing number of ways in which the world's most popular search engine has been used to measure global trends.
Google is not the only popular online tool that has been shown to have the ability to influence stock market sentiment.
On Tuesday, hackers briefly erased 195 billion dollars of value from US markets after they broke into the Associated Press's Twitter account and falsely reported US President Barack Obama had been injured after two blasts at the White House.
Stock markets plunged when the tweet was released, with the Dow Jones industrial average losing 0.9 per cent and the S&P 500 dropping 0.8 per cent.