Despite the fear of Mumbai attacks writ large on the faces of travellers four Indian tourist destinations still figure among google’s top ten searches for India’s most popular holiday destinations . While Goa is listed as the number one search query for India’s top ten most
popular holiday destination searches, Kerala, Kashmir, Shimla and Manali got second, third, 8th and 10th place respectively . Dubai ,Singapore, Australia and London got fourth, fifth , sixth and seventh position respectively.
Google has announced its India Zeitgeist, a look at 2008 through the collective eyes of the Indian users on the web. The 2008 year-end India Zeitgeist offers a unique perspective on the year’s major events and hottest trends based on searches conducted by users in India.
“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.
Surprisingly, not even a single BJP leader’s name figures among top ten political celebrities during 2008. Mahatama Gandhi is still the number one politician followed by Raj Thakeray , Sonia Gandhi, Indira Gandhi , Rahul Gandhi , Abdul Kalam , Manmohan Singh and Mayawati.
instead of searching for Atal Behari Bajpayee and L.K.Advani Indians searched for Sarah Palin and Barack Obama. Raj Thakeray who earned hatred and ire of North Indians is the second most searched political figure during 2008. Gandhis still rule Indian minds as three of the Nehru’s family and Mahatma Gandhi have been listed as top most searched Indian political figures.
Katrina Kaif is the most searched Bollywood celebrity during 2008 followed by Aishwarya Rai , Salman Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Kareena Kapoor, Shahid Kapur, Deepika Padukone ,Shahrukh Khan ,Mallika Sherawat and Genelia D’souza.
“Actresses hold the spotlight this year. The interest around Katrina, Aishwarya and Salman is still going strong. Shahid makes his debut on our list, while Salman Khan maintains his ‘online’ popularity over King Khan ,” Vinay Goel said.
The Internet seems to be the one stop shop for all personal searches be it the beauty , love, money or romance. Among top 10 popular ‘how to do stuff’ queries are about weight reduction , kiss , earn money, get pregnant, learn English, gain weight, play guitar, create a website, impress a girl and how to ties a tie.
Himachal’s WWF sensation The Great Khali (Dalip Singh Rana ) has got 8th search rank among India’s Most Popular Sports stars .Sania Mirza by getting first position has shown that ricket is not our only passion . Sachin Tendulkar has been ranked as second , Cristiano Ronaldo third, John Cena fourth, M.S.Dhoni fifth , David Beckham sixth, Brett Lee seventh , Kaka 9th and Roger Federer as 10th most searched sports celebrity during 2008.
YouTube becomes the fastest rising search term in 2008; Orkut and Gmail remain the most popular networking and communication properties for Indian users . Mobile optimized websites like Waptrick and mobile games are becoming very popular.
Indian users , says Vinay Goyal are also sticking to government websites for information. Among the most popular government websites are indianrail.gov.in ,cbseresults.nic.in , incometaxindia.gov.in ,mca.gov.in ,incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in , passport.nic.in ,tn.gov.in , cbse.nic.in , sebi.gov.in and indiapost.gov.in .
“Google analyzed 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.” Vinay Goel said .