Search giant Google rummaged through billions of searches for the entire year of 2008 to reveal that Bollywood actor Katrina Kaif is the most-searched person in India; that ‘recession’ does not figure among the top search for ‘economic terms’; that ‘How to reduce weight’ is a major concern among Indians; and that Goa is everyone’s favourite destination.
The second India Zeitgeist report (globally the report is in its 9th year) offers a perspective on the year’s major events and hottest trends based on searches conducted by users in India.
“The year-end provides an opportunity to take stock of our lives and those of others, look at what made news through the year and browsing the Google India Zeitgeist lists is especially interesting as these provide a refreshing perspective on the year gone by and an insight into emerging trends. Different people find different things to do on the web, so these lists are a good representation of the unique ways in which Indian users mine the Internet. Given the popularity of mobiles, this year we also looked at what people searched for while on the move through their mobile phones,” said Vinay Goel, Head of Products, Google India.
While developing the 2008 report, Google analysed various aspects of the search queries to understand what was on the minds of Internet users in India. We retrieved the most frequently-searched terms for the period across many categories like Bollywood Celebrities, Holiday destinations etc. In addition we also looked at the top 10 fastest rising search words in India.
This was done by reviewing several thousands of 2008’s most popular searches and ranking them based on how much their popularity increased compared to 2007. Taken together, we believe that all these lists define the true Zeitgeist or the “spirit of the times.” In addition, for the first time this year we are offering a unique insight into the mobile web, by including the top queries searched for on the mobile, he added.
Presence of three email services on the mobile query list shows increasing adoption of internet on mobile. People are using their mobiles to email, to check cricket scores, latest news and to know more about Bollywood celebrities.
The increased traffic on the Indian railways website indicated that Indian users would rather go online than stand in long queues at railway stations. The Sixth Pay Commission was also a popular searchword.
Beijing Olympics and IPL made it to to the fastest rising search term in 2008. Genelia D’souza of Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na fame was 7th on the list.
Mahatma Gandhi remained the most popular politician, but interestingly Sarah Palin in third place was more ‘searched’ than Obama at the fifth spot.
Sania Mirza topped the sportstars leaving behind Sachin Tendulkar and MS Dhoni. The list includes Christiano Ronaldo, Roger Federer and John Cena.