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Here’s what Indians searched for in 2020

Google
Google (REUTERS)

The company said that while there was a 140% growth in searches from across India for “work from home jobs” over 2019, there was over 85% YoY growth in searches for “online course”, compared to flat growth in the previous YoY.

Google on Thursday released a report titled ‘India’s determined progress'. In its report, the company talked about the search trends of Indian in the past year. This not only includes the expansion of various digital technologies but also the type of content consumed by the users.

Google, in its report, said, that the combination of the uncertainty of 2020 and the accelerated digital adoption in the year saw Indians leverage their time spent online for the determined pursuit of progress. The report also confirms the geographical expansion of new digital users in tier 2, tier 3, tier 4 locations and rural India. This, the company said, has led to an increase in the importance of the 3Vs, which includes Voice, Video and Vernacular.

As per the report, one of the clear shifts in user behaviour is demonstrated in a never-before upsurge in queries for “learn”, which Google says is up more than 30% year-on-year. The company says that ‘Learning anything, anywhere’ is one amongst the three major changes in user behaviour that have emerged based on search trends spanning Search and YouTube in 2020.

The company said that while there was a 140% growth in searches from across India for “work from home jobs” over 2019, there was over 85% YoY growth in searches for “online course”, compared to flat growth in the previous YoY. The report also said that there was an over 50% YoY growth in Google searches for “certificate course”. Additionally, there was an over 65% YoY growth in searches for “how to sell online” and a 14x YoY increase in YouTube searches for “online classes”.

The second big trend ‘Local first’ was the second major trend that emerged last year. It highlights the increase in the demand and consumption of both local language content and local information. In 2020, Google Translate was used over 17 Billion times to translate web pages into Indic languages. Additionally, the report noted that over 90% of YouTube users preferred to watch content in Indic languages. The year also saw a spike in demand for “local news” in order to stay tuned into developments in users’ immediate surroundings.

In addition to that, the report noted that one-third of Google Assistant users in India were using it in an Indic language, while 4 out of 5 most searched video series in 2020 were Indian content. Apart from this, there was an 80% YoY increase in searches for “local news” and a 1.5x YoY increase in YouTube searches for “kheti” compared to flat growth in the previous year.

Value refined is the third major trend that the company witnessed this year. Google said that with health becoming a foremost concern, Indians adopted a new willingness to try new things online with “online doctor consultations” searches growing at 300% growth in the last year led by Manipur, Bihar and Karnataka.

Google also said that the demand for connected devices saw a massive surge with ‘second-hand laptops’ recording a more than 60% increase in Search queries YoY. These user behaviours were coupled with their increasing comfort with transacting online with more than 60% YoY in searches for “how to pay online” compared to being flat last year.

In addition to that, the report says that nearly 70% of parents interested in online children’s courses were willing to pay for it if they found it useful and that more than 45% YoY growth in searches for “Online store” compared to flat growth in the previous year.

“2020 was a year of disruption, resilience, and adaptation, both for businesses and users. It has also been a catalyst for massive changes, both in consumer behaviours online and in how businesses have pivoted to digital. The momentum has now been set for expanding and deepening this transformation, and to rethink our business models, approach, solutions, marketing, and distribution to keep pace with India’s fast-growing digital users,” Sanjay Gupta, Country Head & VP, Google India said on the occasion.

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