Let me Google that for you: Measuring firm internationalization (and more) using Google Trends

Ven, 24/06/2022 - 11:00 / 12:30

403, Viale Romania

Speaker: Jakob Müllner , Harald Puhr ,


Jakob Müllner (University of Innsbruck - Faculty of Business and Management)

Harald Puhr (Vienna University of Economics and Business - Institute for International Business)


We propose Google Trends as a uniquely versatile and overlooked resource for International Business. Other disciplines ranging from Finance and Political Science to Epidemiology and Meterology have successfully used measures based on Google search volume. Data from Google Trends captures information-seeking behavior of internet users and thereby offers highly reliable and finely grained data on issue salience across locations. Google search volume therefore provides a market-side, interest-based measure of firm internationalization. In our presentation, we present this measure as a complement to existing measures for degree of internationalization and discuss conceptual and theoretical properties of the proposed measure. Next, we test the reliability of the Google-based measure as substitute for traditional measures of firm internationalization applied in International Business. We conclude our presentation by an outline of further applications of Google search volume that go beyond firm internationalization, such as within-country dispersion, socio-political country risk, cross-national distance, and media analysis.

Our research note that outlines the conceptual foundations of the proposed measure is available on SSRN. The accompanying package for the R statistical software can be downloaded from GitHub.

Keywords: Measuring Internationalization, Google Trends, Degree of Internationalization, Volume of Internationalization, Firm Internationalization