The Internet is awash with health sites – some 80% of American Internet users look up health issues online, and 60% of those people spend their time on our network of endemic health websites. Once again, Swoop has polled the data from our traffic to take the pulse of what North American Internet users were reading about in Q4 2016.

Top Health-Related Categories

To determine what people are interested in, we took the top search queries from our network of health publishers, put them into broad categories, and compared them. The numbers we look at are a reflection of how many pages about a topic are consumed, and by how many users, giving us a combination of content consumed and end-user interest. Here are the top categories getting interest:

Top health category - Q4 2016

As it was in our Q2 Digital Health Visibility Index, cancer is the most-read-about health topic across endemic health websites. The visibility of cancer should not be surprising; it’s the number two cause of death, and as we found last time receives the most advertising spend per actual population:

Ad money spent on health topics vs. population - Q2 2016

Visibility Changes – Q2 to Q4

So what’s changed over the past six months? When comparing our Q2 data to this latest batch, we can see what health topics have gotten more interest and what topics have gotten less:

Health condition visibility changes  - Q2 to Q4 2016

Interestingly, our second-most-visible topic in Q2 (and the number one cause of death), heart health, has seen a precipitous decline in digital interest as 2016 came to an end. It’s early to speculate, but it will be very interesting to see in the future if heart health interest across our network of endemic health sites is seasonal.

Skin disorders and psoriasis also declined in visibility as the weather grew cold, and unsurprisingly the flu is a higher-interest topic as the flu season peaks and winds down (Q2) than as we start to get into the next season (Q4).

Picking up the slack is UTIs/yeast infections, irritable bowel syndrome, arthritis and mental health. UTIs and arthritis being more visible as the temperature drops is to be expected, and the growth in mental health seems to be driven primarily by depression.

Top Cancer Types by Visibility

Like in Q2, we broke out the top topic – cancer – and looked at the types of cancer drawing the most visibility:

Most visible cancer types - Q4 2016

Once again skin cancer is the specific type of cancer drawing the most interest online, but leukemia has jumped from unranked to number two, Multiple Myeloma has entered the top ten, and colon and esophageal cancer have dropped to unranked status.

Top 100 Conditions

Rank Topic
1 Cancer
2 Sexual Health
3 Diabetes
4 Flu
5 Migraine/Headache
6 Depression
7 Arthritis
8 Infections
9 Skin Rash
10 Heartburn/GERD
11 Urinary Tract/Yeast Infection
12 Irritable Bowel Syndrome|Ibs
13 Headaches
14 Gas
15 Menopause
16 Acid Reflux
17 Hernia
18 Allergies
19 Birth Control
20 Fibromyalgia
21 Cold Flu
22 Lupus
23 Heart Health
24 Shingles
25 Aging
26 Acne
27 Poison Ivy
28 Kidney Stones
29 Multiple Sclerosis
30 Erectile Dysfunction
31 Pain Management
32 Gout
33 PMS
34 Food Poisoning
35 Alternative Medicine
36 Herpes/Cold Sores
37 Diverticulitis
38 Appendicitis
39 Hemorrhoids
40 Mono
41 Psoriasis
42 Rheumatoid Arthritis
43 Hypertension
44 Heart Disease
45 Tendinitis
46 Hypothyroidism
47 Asthma
48 HIV
49 Bronchitis
50 Eczema
51 Stroke
52 Hepatitis
53 Endometriosis
54 Melanoma|Skin Cancer
55 Osteoarthritis
56 Bipolar Disorder
57 Leukemia
59 Gallstones
61 Chronic Fatigue
62 Staph Infection
63 Sleep Apnea
64 Lyme Disease
65 Strep Throat
66 Pneumonia
67 Atrial Fibrillation
68 Ovarian Cancer
69 Thyroid Disorders
70 Hyperthyroidism
71 Bursitis
72 Neuropathy
73 Skin Cancer
74 Ulcerative Colitis
75 Overactive Bladder
76 Menstrual Cycle
77 Kidney Infection
78 Genital Warts|HPV
79 COPD|Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
80 Labor And Delivery
81 Sepsis
82 Insomnia
83 Breast Cancer
84 Stds
85 Vaginitis
86 Heat Rash
87 Carpal Tunnel
88 Gastritis
89 Thrombocytopenia
90 Heart Failure
91 Mental Health
92 Plantar Warts
93 Gastroenteritis
94 Graves Disease
95 Prostate Cancer
96 Blood In Urine/Hematuria
97 Lactose Intolerance
98 TIA/Transient Ischemic Attack
99 Digestive Disorders
100 Ingrown Toenail