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Get your Hot Trends here… Job shopping on the rise… ‘Arrogant’ Qantas on the nose… Big banks are fighting back … The cost of presenteeism…

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Hot trends, get your daily trends while they’re hot…

Ever wondered what people are looking at on Google, like, right now? Well, now you can find out about each day’s hot new web search trends via Google Hot Trends.

Only Google searches in the US are being measured at the moment, which makes it less interesting for us antipodeans than it otherwise might be. Even so, the idea that idea that you can check out what idea or event has captured the web-going community’s attention each day is intriguing, to say the least.

Importantly, Hot Trends aren’t the search terms people look for most often, which tend to be more or less the same day after day. Instead, the Hot Trends algorithm analyses millions of searches to find those that deviate the most relative to their past traffic. In short, Hot Trends are searches that are unusually popular on a given day.

And to help you decipher why a particular search has hit the big time, the Hot Trends page provides useful information such as where most of the hits have come from, what time they came, news articles linked to the search and an evaluation just how popular the search is.

The most popular searches on a given day can be pretty strange. Here are today’s top five:

1. marquise hill
2. lake pontchartrain
3. alvin york
4. white oleander
5. johns hopkins lacrosse

Job shopping on the rise

Employers concerned about their staff leaving should be watching their male employees. A survey from Talent2 shows the 38% of males shopped their skills around to more than five employers to find the best possible job the last time they were job-seeking, compared with only 29% of females.

And about 11% of males were poached by their current employer compared to only 7% of females. Those in the computer/IT industry are the most adept at shopping for a job, with 45% saying they visited five or more organisations when they were job shopping. This compares to 41% of those in sales and marketing and only 30% in the property industry.

‘Arrogant’ Qantas on the nose

Qantas has been rated the worst international airline by 4000 Choice subscribers. And its low cost subsidiary Jetstar was rated as the least satisfactory airline. The highest-rated domestic carrier was Regional Express at 79% followed by Virgin Blue with 71%.

Virgin Blue staff attempt to make what is a reasonably unpleasant experience – flying with a no-frills service – light-hearted and enjoyable, one consumer told Choice.

Qantas domestic scored 67%, with one subscriber describing it as arrogant and aloof. Jetstar scored just 62%.

The top-rated international airlines were Singapore Airlines at 78%, followed by Emirates and Air New Zealand. Qantas was last with 63%. So why do people continue to fly Qantas? Frequent flyer points, apparently.

Big banks are fighting back

A Roy Morgan poll has shown that the big banks’ fight to win back customers from smaller banks is starting to work. Reopening branches and focusing on customer service is starting to pay off.

According to the survey, CBA experienced a 3.5 percentage point lift in the year to April 2007 to 66.7%. Westpac lifted satisfaction levels 2.6 points to 70.6%. St George Bank, which has been doing better, slipped 2.1 points to 74.6%.

Wish you weren’t here 

The season of sniffles, coughs and colds is upon us. It’s only a matter of time before you or a colleague falls sick. Should they soldier on or keep their germs at home and to themselves?

Presenteeism – where people turn up for work sick but not achieving their full productivity – is costing the economy about $26 billion a year. This figure is well above the estimated $7 billion in annual productivity loses caused by people taking sick days, according to a study by Enotech released by Medibank Private.

But this doesn’t mean workers should stay home when they are sick for the sake of the business. Thiis would only cost the business more!

There is an exception to this, of course: coughing and spluttering all over your work colleagues is likely to spread the illness even further and cost even more!

The survey found that the biggest causes of presenteeism are depression and allergies, followed by hypertension, diabetes, asthma and spinal problems.

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