As Bitcoin Surges, Google Searches Suggest Little FOMO Among Retail Investors

Web search data suggests popular interest in bitcoin remains at normal levels, despite a sharp price rally to near $16,000.

AccessTimeIconNov 6, 2020 at 11:11 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 10:28 a.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global hub for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

Web search data suggests popular interest in bitcoin remains at normal levels, despite a sharp price rally to near $16,000.

  • The top cryptocurrency has chalked up a nearly 50% gain in the past four weeks to trade as high as $15,971 earlier on Friday – a level last seen during the bull market frenzy between December 2017 and January 2018.
  • Some observers say the rally is now being driven higher by retail greed and fear of missing out (FOMO). However, Google data suggests otherwise.
  • Google Trends, a barometer used to gauge general interest in trending topics, is currently returning a value of 10 for the worldwide search query "bitcoin price."
  • That's significantly lower than the value of 93 observed in early December 2017 following bitcoin's record break above $15,000.
  • The current reading is also lower than the peak of 19 observed in the second week of May when bitcoin underwent its third mining reward "halving."
  • Google's data suggests retail investors are showing calm over bitcoin's recent rally and the market is far from being in a state of bull frenzy.
  • Google search values typically rise following a major bull run as high street investors, who missed the early rise, often scan the internet for price information before joining the market.
  • Google Trends provides access to a mostly unfiltered sample of actual search requests made to Google and scales their searches on a range of 0 to 100, according to the company.
Values for worldwide search query "Bitcoin Price"
Values for worldwide search query "Bitcoin Price"
  • FOMO action is widely considered a sign of an asset nearing a major top as retailers are usually the last to join the market.
  • But with popular interest still relatively low, it seems safe to say that FOMO is yet to take hold of the market and the ongoing institutional-driven rally has legs.
  • Bitcoin peaked at a record high of $20,000 in mid-December 2017. At the same time, the worldwide search query "Bitcoin Price" touched 100 on Google Trends.
  • It's worth noting, though, that a high search value does not necessarily translate into increased buying pressure. Often investors search for information, but remain on the fence.
  • At press time, bitcoin is trading near $15,588, representing a 118% gain on a year-to-date basis. The figure of $15,971 reached early Friday was a 33-month high.


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk offers all employees above a certain salary threshold, including journalists, stock options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.

Read more about