Google: 'How-To' Tax Searches Increase 37% Since 2012

Tax season. Doesn’t conjure up nostalgia like some other seasons of the year, but it is the one thing that all income-earning people in the United States around this time are facing together.

Because of this, there’s bound to be data on what people are looking for online around tax season. Google explored those trends in its latest look at tax-related searches across channels like YouTube and across regions of the U.S.

According to Google, “how-to” searches related to tax prep are up by 37 percent since 2012. These searches also started trending earlier in the season than last year, “suggesting that people are starting their taxes sooner and doing more of the work themselves,” Google said in its announcement. 


Searches for “how-to” tax videos on YouTube are up 254 percent since 2011. Smart brands are taking advantage of seasonal searches by inserting helpful content into the search cycle. For example, TurboTax has a playlist of YouTube videos dedicated to answering questions about taxes. 

Here are the Top 10 how-to tax queries on YouTube, according to Google: 


Back to the Google search engine, and “calculators” and “estimators” are just some of the tax tool searches that showed strong interest in January and February. “Extension” and “refund” terms peaked later in the season.

And, according to Google, interest in tax “refund” is more prominent in the South, while tax “extension” is more prominent out West. 




Google data highlights just some of the things that are on the minds of tax payers across the U.S. this time of year. As a brand that provides products and services to these tax payers, it's not too late to integrate search trends into your marketing campaign in some way. 

About the author

Jessica Lee is the founder of bizbuzzcontent, a boutique content services company that offers quality content creation services and content strategy consulting.

Since 2005, Jessica has been in the business of content and communications, with the past seven years focused on the Web marketing space.

Prior to launching bizbuzzcontent, Jessica was responsible for content strategy, development, and marketing for Bruce Clay Inc. - a global SEO firm, where she served small businesses and Fortune 500 clients.

Jessica has a bachelor's in communications and public relations from San Diego State University.

She contributed to the book Search Engine Optimization All-in-One for Dummies second edition, and her writing is featured in an active college textbook, Reading and Writing About Contemporary Issues.