Nokia, Sony among top online brands in India

01 June 2010

MUMBAI: Nokia, Samsung and Sony are among the companies that Indian consumers are searching for most frequently on the web.

Google has released its first ever Brand Zeitgeist report covering the products and categories which are attracting the attention of its audience in India.

Nokia, the handset manufacturer, claimed top spot, with the specification and prices of its devices coming in as the topics that netizens were most interested in.

SBI, the financial services provider, took second, as consumers sought to learn more about its internet banking platform and career opportunities at the company.

Samsung, the electronics giant, followed in third, driven by entries related to its mobile phones and the downloadable tools that are available for these gadgets.

Sony was in fourth, aided by the appeal of its wireless phones and laptops, while telecoms provider BSNL completed the top five.

Elsewhere in the top ten, Tata, the conglomerate, saw both its broadband and automotive arms receive a large number of enquiries through Google.

The presence of ICICI and HDFC, the banking giants, and Airtel, the wireless network, confirmed the dominance of financial and communications brands overall.

Google also stated that search terms linked to the telecoms category had the best potential conversion rates, while multimedia content and value-added services also had the highest growth levels.

Other subjects generating considerable volumes of traffic included data plans, online music platforms and the location of retail outlets where phones were available.

With regard to the financial sector, this segment has delivered a 73% uptick in relevant entries on Google year-on-year, with 80% of all queries mentioning brands by name.

Enquiries in the automotive industry jumped by 126% in the same period, with Maruti, the car maker, and Yamaha, the motorcycle firm, the most popular operators in their individual markets.

Shoppers hoping to purchase new vehicles typically looked for information about specific marques and models, but were also generally found to conduct research on specialist websites.

According to Google, there are currently 100 million people logging on to the net via desktop computers in India, with a further 25 million employing the mobile web.

"We expect another 100 million users to be added over the next two years," said Vinay Goel, head of product for Google's Indian operations.

Google also revealed that its own visitor numbers in the country had increased by 70% in April 2010 compared with the same period in 2009.

"We want advertisers to view the internet as a mainstream technology to create effective solutions," said Goel.

"We are not trying to take away revenue from other sectors like print [and] television. Our aim is to grow the ad pie."

However, Goel warned that while the amount of time people are spending online has doubled in many areas, such as Tier II and Tier III cities, this has not translated into a shift in priorities among brand owners as yet.

"The notion is that advertisers follow consumers. However the internet gets just 4% [of] adspend while the time that people spend on this medium is 30%."

Data sourced from Campaign India, Hindustan Times,, Times of India; additional content by Warc staff