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Auto Queries Top Google Search

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According to a recent industry report from Google, the auto vertical has grown tremendously in the last two years in terms of searches and is growing faster than key vertical areas such as travel, consumer electronics and finance. 

Out of 100 million internet users in the country today, in 2009-10, 49 per cent of all auto related queries on Google were on vehicle shopping.

Drawing examples from the report, Rajan Anandan, vice president and MD of Google India, said the online search trend for automobiles indicates the need for the marketers to be where the consumers are.

For example, Ford India recently launched its new Fiesta sedan through live streaming of the event on social networking site Facebook, along with putting Fiesta contest winners' test drive videos online. "Fiesta promotion videos got 1,177,074 impressions on facebook and 81,254 twitters in the course of two weeks," says Nigel Wark, executive director of marketing, sales and service at Ford India said. The new Fiesta was launched on 14 July.

"We have seen over 150 per cent growth in revenues from the auto sector in 2010 and we expect the share of auto advertising spends on digital to grow significantly in the next few years," says  Anandan.

The report also cites that entry and mid-segment cars in the price range of (Rs 2 lakh to Rs 6 lakh) were the most searched. Diesel cars, which are big in demand, registered triple-digit growth in 2010. Search queries for diesel cars grew by 52 per cent in April to May 2011 while petrol prices were hiked by Rs 5 per litre. SUVs were the second-most searched car category, followed by luxury cars, which is the fastest growing car category. Search queries for bikes saw a more than 96 per cent increase in query volumes in 2010.

The report on consumer search behaviour in the automobile sector has taken Google Search data from January 2010 to May 2011 and states that, "the auto vertical witnessed tremendous growth in online searches registering 84 per cent growth in 2010 over 2009 on Google Search.

According to the report, the trend continues to show fast paced growth this year with the auto category showing a growth of 72 per cent in the first six months of 2011 over last year.

The research also found that Indians are more research oriented for auto related purchases, with 65 per cent Indians using the Internet first to research before zeroing down on the vehicle of their choice. This is ahead of consumers in the US and Europe -- where only 62 per cent of users go to the web as their first point of research. Google, however, said that the base of Internet users would be larger in these markets.