Google has started a search experiment in relation to health-related queries. The experiment involves a survey, which is triggered by a small percentage of random health searches. The survey will ask whether or not a searcher is looking up a topic because s/he or a friend/relative is experiencing those symptoms or conditions.
The results will be used to help Google provide more relevant data related to public health. You may remember last year when Google launched Flu Trends. The tool used search trends to help determine where the flu was rearing its ugly head.
Of course, with the latest public health problem being the swine flu, providing trends wouldn’t be so easy. With just around 6,000 cases worldwide, but millions of people talking about (and likely searching for) the swine flu, it would be far more difficult to provide a Swine Flu Trends.