Analysis carried out by search and social marketing agency Greenlight recorded a 14 per cent drop in the number of internet searches for mortgages in July compared to January this year. During July there were 818, 088 searches for mortgages, whereas in January there were 951,923. During that month, online searches for mortgages made up 35 per cent of all searches related to retail banking, researchers said. In July the figure stood at 31 per cent.

The study’s aim was to collate the behaviour of consumers making searches in retail banking on Google UK, analysing which sites were the most visible when it came to search engine results – both natural rankings and paid-for results – and thus which had the most chance of grabbing consumers’ attention.

Despite the drop in numbers compared to January, the total number of Google UK searches for mortgages, loans, bank accounts, debit and credit cards came to a massive 2.5 million in July. Examining mortgage-related searches, the most entered term was “mortgage calculator”, with 368,000 searches logged.

However, over half of the ten most-searched-for terms were to do with mortgages or loans themselves. Apart from “mortgages”, other popular terms were “pay day loans”, “loans for bad credit” and “student loans”, also reflecting the straitened economic circumstances many in Britain are currently finding themselves in.

When it came to the total number of loan-related searches, there were actually 53,543 more than in January’s 2011, making up some 37 per cent of online retail banking-related searches for July.

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