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Videos, AI, and voice assistants are the next frontiers for businesses in India: Google 2018 ‘Year in Search’ report

Voice search has become mainstream in Hindi and other vernacular languages, with Google recording a 270 percent growth year-on-year in voice searches.

Tenzin Norzom
14th May 2019
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Google’s 2018 ‘Year in Search’ report comes with a lot of information to unpack.


According to the report, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are helping businesses simplify, and brands across categories have started integrating voice assistants with their customer service. Travel service providers like Uber, Ola, and Meru have made cab booking services available on Google Assistant. The users can simply tap on the desired ride and confirm the booking.



Also read: Prepare to say goodbye to Hangouts as Google confirms it’s retiring the classic chat service



In its report, Google said that the number of active users for Assistant in India has increased by seven times. And Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is driving online acquisition for businesses.


Another study conducted by Nokia in 2018, India Mobile Broadband Index Report, shows 270 percent growth in voice searches across India and that businesses are making services available on voice activated assistants. Moreover, AI is playing a key role in acquiring and managing customers.

 Apart from voice, consumers are also heavily relying on videos to research before purchasing. More than 55 percent of shoppers say that they used online video while actually shopping in store, reported Google.


The search giant’s annual search report for India suggests the audience for online video is expected to be growing as more people resort to online videos to gather information.


Taking a cue from Ernst & Young’s ‘Re-imagining India’s M& E sector’ report, the company pegged that total number of video consumers in the country is expected to be around 500 million by 2020.


About one-third of online video searches are entertainment related, Google touted, with other video categories like lifestyle, education, and business showing almost 2x growth in the last two years.  

During its first-quarter earnings call in April, Google CEO Sundar Pichai commented that India is the fastest growing market for its video sharing platform YouTube.


‘Bharat’, the real driver of searches


Online searches in India from non-metro cities is growing faster than the metros and most of these searches are being driven by Indian language users, Google's report stated. The search giant noted that there has been a 21 percent growth in messaging app downloads which cater to Indian language audiences.


According to a study by KPMG and Google done in 2017, nine out of 10 new Internet users in India are likely to be Indian language users. In addition to this, queries in Indian languages is growing faster than English, in ecommerce categories including clothing, beauty, and personal care. 


Google said that non-metros are driving growth across all categories, noting that 61 percent of all searches across personal loan, health insurance, life insurance, and mutual funds come from regions excluding the top eight Indian cities. Also, 55 percent of all car-related searches also came from non-metro cities. 


Google said, “Consumers across different regions of Bharat are becoming the engines of growth. They are no longer seeking cues from metros and are setting their own trends.”


Voice search has become mainstream in Hindi and other vernacular languages with Google recording a 270 percent growth year-on-year in voice searches.


The platform has become one of the most important sources of information for potential car buyers and has emerged as an advisor for topics ranging from beauty to cleaning solutions.


The report also said Deepika Padukone’s wedding wear was searched four times more than that of Priyanka Chopra.


Another interesting nugget for you: there was a 55-percent rise in face powder searches from Rajasthan!



Also read: Google Pay responds to Delhi HC notice on operating without authorisation







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