Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

Perkbox unboxes: Two years on ‘What is Brexit?’ still googled an average of 6,800 times a month

Perkbox, UK’s fastest-growing employee benefits platform has today partnered with SEMrush, the online marketing suite, to examine our greatest concerns regarding Brexit since the year prior to the referendum vote (2015) until June 2018. The findings represent searches in the UK only.

Whilst Brexit, the impending withdrawal of the UK from the EU, was supported by a majority of British voters at the 23rd of June 2016 referendum, it’s likely to have a significant impact on employment and HR. Organisations and policymakers are looking to find answers to all Brexit-related questions.

In parallel, British citizens have also tried doing their homework by looking for answers to their biggest concerns around Brexit. Here are the top highlights according to 2015-18 online searches:

Those who say that nobody was smart enough to understand and foresee the real implications of Brexit could be right for more reasons than one. ‘What is Brexit?’ was searched 341,220 times more in 2016 than in 2015. Searches in 2017 totaled an outstanding 117,100 and in the first half of 2018, the average was around 6,800 searches/monthly.

Regardless of this, it’s clear that these are anxious times for the 2.9 million citizens from other EU countries living in the UK. ‘British Citizenship Test’ was increasingly searched throughout the 2015-18 period with a 36% increase in online searches from 2015-16 and a 16% increase from 2016-17 at 109,700. In the first half of 2018, this phrase was searched 73,800 times.

But perhaps what’s most worrying, is how much the phrase ‘What is the EU?’ is being searched since 2015. Searches rose by 272% in 2016 with a significant peak the month before the referendum (May 2016) in which month a total of 9,900 searches were made for this question. Whilst it decreased again to 28,290 and 13,900 in 2017 and 2018 (Jan-June) consecutively, it’s still clear that it’s something UK citizens are unsure about.

Chieu Cao, Co-founder, and CMO at Perkbox says:

There’s certainly no shortage of headlines around Brexit and the impact it will have on our jobs and workplaces. In fact, three in four HR professionals expect Brexit to escalate the ‘war for talent’ according to CIPD. Something as complicated and multi-faceted as Brexit should probably not have been decided in this way. However, whilst we’re obviously not sure of what the future might hold, the fear of the unknown is only natural, we need to learn to embrace it whilst slowly looking to find a solution to things”.

Olga Andrienko, Head of Global Marketing at SEMrush says:

“Search can be an excellent indicator of what concerns people. This research revealed UK citizens are still surprisingly unsure about both, Brexit and the EU, as their online search activity for basic definitions of “Brexit” and “EU” is still very high. The vast quantity of searches for “British Citizenship Test” also gives an indication about the level of uncertainty amongst EU citizens living in the UK.”

About Perkbox

Perkbox is a SaaS-based employee engagement platform designed to help employers attract, engage and retain talent. It offers a suite of products including a platform with access to best in class perks, reward and recognition and a product that measures employee sentiment. It serves companies of all sizes from SMEs to large companies such as Whole Foods, Nando’s, Caffe Nero and Levi Strauss & Co. Based in London and with offices in Sheffield, Perkbox has raised over £11.0 million in funding from the leading European venture capital firm Draper Esprit.

About SEMrush

SEMrush is a leading digital marketing toolkit for SEO, PPC and content marketing professionals worldwide. It provides solutions for in-house marketing teams and agencies that work with clients in any industry. With over 25 tools within its software, it provides search data for over 140 countries and seamless integration with Google services.