Google India has released — in a study it calls the Google Brand Zeitgeist — a list of the most searched brands on Google Search and details of search trends by product categories. Nokia emerged as the most searched brand online, followed by SBI, Samsung, Sony, BSNL, Tata, IRCTC, HDFC, ICICI and Airtel, in that order.
Across product and services categories, telecom, automotive, education, finance and travel led the search queries. “Automotive and telecom stand out; they are the fastest growing on Google,” said Narasimha Jayakumar, business head, Google India. “While advertisers were assigning two-three per cent of their budgets to automotive online advertising with us two years ago, they are assigning eight-to-10 per cent now. Telecom — particularly mobile and value added services (VAS) — which accounts for one-third of all our searches, has seen a similar rise in online advertising.”
Google finds that telecom is the most promising category in terms of monetisable query volumes and that multimedia for mobile and VAS are the highest growth areas. While Nokia tops the searches in mobile phones, Airtel leads in mobile service searches.
With automobiles, motorbikes have shown a 126 per cent growth in queries year-on-year (y-o-y). Among cars, Maruti’s brands top the search list.
Education is a very strong search growth area, Google observed, seeing a y-o-y growth of over 45 per cent. “Education is top-of-mind for every Indian today,” Jayakumar pointed out. “It has become one of our largest search categories by volume — we had a billion-plus searches on education last year.”
Among the other high search categories, finance has seen a 73 per cent growth, with 33 per cent related to banking. Brand-specific queries were as high as 80 per cent.
Travel, another popularly searched category, has seen the highest hits with the Indian railways websites, even as air travel and bookings have remained steady. Hotels in metros are more searched for than at holiday destinations even though honeymoon travel is highly researched online, followed by domestic and international holidays.