Here’s what Indians searched on Google while looking for things to do during lockdown

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on April 13, 2020

Google search for terms related to different ways of passing the time during lockdown grew tremendously over the last month according to a recent study by online visibility management and content marketing platform SEMrush.

The study conducted in March 2020 showed that search for terms related to video conferencing apps, gaming and online video streaming grew massively over the last month owing to the 21-day nationwide lockdown in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

For instance, search for Microsoft’s video conferencing tool Skype rose by 1150 per cent just before the 21-day lockdown was implemented on March 24.

The search for terms such as “online games” and “work from home” increased by 300 per cent and 733 per cent respectively, the study said. Other keywords whose search frequency spiked were “online food delivery” and “online grocery.” The search for these terms grew by 2,400 per cent and 4,900 per cent respectively, according to the report.

The search for terms related to gaming had surged among Indians, the report said. Between March 6-25, the percentage of times the video game Counter-Strike was explored rose by 1011 per cent. The percentage of times “puzzles” was searched increased by 1,566 per cent between March 9-30 as per the study.

The study also reported a massive surge in terms related to video streaming and OTT platforms. Searches for terms such as “Netflix” and “Disney Plus” increased by 127 per cent and 143 per cent respectively last month.

Searches for "Netflix subscription" and "Amazon prime subscription" rose by 193 per cent and 162 per cent respectively.

“In India, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney Plus are the most popular streaming services,” the report said.

“While there has been a huge surge in searches for online video streaming services, their numbers are eclipsed by searches for practical services and equipment like Skype, home food delivery. Indians are a pragmatic people and with a crisis afoot, their biggest concerns are keeping in touch with friends and family, ensuring nobody goes hungry, and the safety of their loved ones,” said Mr Fernando Angulo, Head of Communications, SEMrush.

“The study also brings to the surface what’s in the mind of young Indian consumers. Young Indians are avid gamers. With colleges and schools closed, they opt to play Counter-Strike, a game that many friends can play together remotely. Our study shows that the First Person Shooter (FPS) genre remains popular in India, despite the popularity of gaming on Smartphones. The study also shows that many younger Indians prefer cerebral activities like puzzles to pass the time,” he further added.

Published on April 13, 2020

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