Google gains ground with Indian web users

13 October 2009

NEW DELHI: Google, the online search giant, has enhanced its position in India at the expense of Yahoo, as Gmail, its email service, overtook its rival's alternative offering in terms of its popularity among consumers for the first time.

Yahoo Mail has been the most widely-used email platform in the Asian nation for around a decade, but saw its user numbers fall from 18.2 million in August to 16.8 million in September, according to figures from ViziSense, the research firm.

By contrast, Gmail enjoyed an uptick in its comparative figures from 17.7 million to 18.2 million over the same period, helping it leapfrog its main competitor and take the top spot.

Google's search portal also recorded a reach of 74% among the country's s 47 million netizens in August, while Yahoo posted a total of 58%.

Prashant Mehta, coo of Komli Media, the owner of ViziSense, argued "the popularity of Google over the past few years has created a brand which today extends beyond just search and it is this brand that has helped strengthen Gmail's usage."
Vinay Goel, head of products at Google India, added that "the launch of Gmail in eight Indian languages was a positive step in this direction.”

Sanjay Tiwari, director of JuxtConsult, also suggested that Yahoo's decision to rationalise its operations in India, and focus on a few core areas such as social media and online music, may have contributed to this result.

“For the past few years, Yahoo has consolidated services on the web and this is a conscious effort which may affect current usage but will strengthen the brand in the long term,” he said.

Data sourced from Livemint; additional content by Warc staff