The coronavirus pandemic forced people to stay home for months altogether. During the pandemic, the only thing which connected people from the rest of the world was the Internet.
From online classes to work from home (WFH), from online learning to online exercise, people were heavily dependant on the digital mode of communication. Evidently, people were searching for many peculiar things on Google.
According to the Google’s annual ‘Year in Search’ report for 2020, there was 140 per cent growth in “work from home jobs” searches from across India in 2020 over 2019. The term “work from home jobs” witnessed the highest surge in Telangana, followed by Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Puducherry, and Maharashtra.
The phrase “online course” saw 85 percent growth. Searches for “certificate course” saw 50 percent on-year growth and “how to sell online” saw over 65 percent increase in searches.
With health becoming a foremost concern, Indians adopted a new willingness to try new things online with “online doctor consultations” searches growing at 300 per cent growth in the last one year led by Manipur, Bihar and Karnataka, the report said.
As per Google, demand for connected devices saw a massive surge with ‘second-hand laptops’ recording a more than 60 percent rise in search queries YoY.
“These behaviours were coupled with increasing comfort with transacting online with more than 60 per cent YoY in searches for “how to pay online”, compared to being flat last year,” it said.
The, “Learning anything, anywhere”, is one of the three major changes in user behaviour that have emerged based on search trends spanning Search and YouTube in 2020, Google said.
The searches for learning went beyond academics, and focused on learning for career progression, upskilling, entrepreneurship, and supplementary income, with four in five people coming to YouTube to learn something new, Google said.
Consequently, the year saw Google Translate being used over 17 billion times to translate web pages into Indic languages, said the report.
Additionally, over 90 per cent of YouTube users preferred to watch content in Indic languages.