The Internet and Pop Culture? Google’s Search Trends for India – 2007

Posted by Rahul Sethi on 10:13 PM

The Internet is quickly becoming a ‘cultural index’ – it is starting to represent us as a culture with its scope getting broader every single day.

I had written quite a bit about the number of Internet ‘users’ and about the number of people accessing the Internet online – and it would be safe to say that so far, the Internet has not really percolated into the Indian psyche. So it does not really yet qualify as a cultural indicator – it does however indicate what is on the mind of India’s moderately rich and moderately educated.

Over the years however, with more penetration and enough integration with the mainstream media coupled with its razor sharp accuracy, I think the Internet will be able to tell us how Indians define Pop Culture. Popular culture (or pop culture) is the widespread cultural elements in any given society. It comprises the daily interactions, needs and desires and cultural 'moments' that make up the everyday lives of the mainstream.

Google has released a Report called the Zeitgeist Report (Zeitgeist literally translates as the ‘moral and cultural climate of an era’). The most popular and fast-rising search queries submitted to Google by Indian users is the criteria considered whilst deciding on the Google Zeitgeist list.

“In compiling the 2007 year-end Google Zeitgeist, we studied the aggregation of billions of search queries people from India conducted on Google. To come up with this list, we looked at several thousand of 2007’s most popular searches, and ranked them based on how much their popularity increased compared to 2006.

“For example, Deepika Padukone’s popularity online soared in 2007. We also gave a proportionately higher score to searches with more traffic increase. Separately, we also computed the most popular queries in 2007 by volume,” Google said.

In terms of the ‘fast rising’ search queries, Orkut topped the list – cementing its position as the youth icon. We have written a lot about Facebook and its innovations, but for now, among Indian users, Orkut wins because of its simplicity.

2007 Zeitgeist list for India (Fast- Rising Search Queries in 2007)

01. Orkut

02. YouTube

03. Gmail

04. Map

05. Google

06. Indian Railways

07. Yahoo Mail

08. Technology

09. Yahoo

10. Zapak

The key to note is that Indians are networking online.

YouTube is in second place – which shows our affinity for the idiot box. Again YouTube is content in a social context. Social Internet Media can be identified as one mega trend atleast for Indian users.

One can also say that since Orkut and YouTube are higher than Gmail and Yahoo Mail, Web 2.0 seems to be slowly gaining precedence over Web 1.0.

The Indian Railways is interesting – what is more interesting is the absence of any airline. It really does seem that the Railways are successfully defending their market share.

Zapak is another extremely interesting name there. Skeptics have questioned Zapak’s spending strategies – I’m a firm believer that the spending on Zapak is justified and it will have innumerable cross media benefits for Reliance ADAG once it becomes a sizeable brand.

Here are the Individual Category Lists

Category Lists

Top 10 Bollywood Celebrities

01. Aishwariya Rai

02. Salman Khan

03. Hrithik Roshan

04. Katrina Kaif

05. Shahrukh Khan

06. Mallika Sherawat

07. Priyanka Chopra

08. Kareena Kapoor

09. Rani Mukherjee

10. Deepika Padukone

Top 10 Movies

01. Spiderman

02. Sivaji

03. Dhoom 2

04. Om Shanti Om

05. Chak De India

06. Saawariya

07. Harry Potter

08. Ghost Rider

09. Bhool Bhulaiya

10. Jhoom Barabar Jhoom

P.S. Spiderman at No.1 – Bollywood needs to take note and learn a little more bout targeting the Internet Generation.

Top 10 Places of Interest

01. Kerala

02. Singapore

03. Goa

04. Australia

05. London

06. Dubai

07. Rajasthan

08. Jaipur

09. Kashmir

10. Ooty

Indian Places are the megatrend

Top 10 political leaders

01. Mahatma Gandhi

02. Abdul Kalam

03. Sonia Gandhi

04. Indira Gandhi

05. Rabindranath Tagore

06. Pratibha Patil

07. Subhash Chandra Bose

08. Rahul Gandhi

09. Sarojini Naidu

10. Mayawati

Top 10 Sportstars

01. Sania Mirza

02. Maria Sharapova

03. Sachin Tendulkar

04. John Cena

05. David Beckham

06. Cristiano Ronaldo

07. Rahul Dravid

08. Mahendra Singh Dhoni

09. Sourav Ganguly

10. Anna Kournikova

Anna Kournikova as a ‘sports’ star :p? Sania Mirza at the top comes as a surprise - considering our affinity for cricket - and we won the 2020. Does this indicate something?

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