Profiting off of medical concerns, such as with the recent Swine Flu outbreak, is something most people don't think about. But in a WebmasterWorld thread, some people are suggesting that if people are afraid to go out, they might spend more time on their computers.
Clearly, more people sitting front of a computer, surfing the web, can lead to higher AdSense earnings. So technically, publishers and Google may profit off of this concern. At least, indirectly.
The thread said:
I believe if this flu does take hold, then it could be good for adsense members, due to the amount of people staying away from shops etc. More online shopping, more clicks :)
Sad, but possibly true.
In any event, Chris Sherman posted Tracking the Swine Flu Epidemic at Search Engine Land the other day.
Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.