Education centric search terms seem to be the dominating the overall search queries originating from India on Google search engine and it is quite obvious as over half of the Indian Internet population in the age range of 18-35. According to the report compiled by Google India named “Students on the web”, India has raced to the number 2 position, globally when it comes to absolute volume of search queries related to Education on Google Search, and is now behind only to the US.
This marks significant jump as India has outnumbered 6 other countries to become number 2 in time frame of four years, earlier in 2008 India was ranked # 8. The study was done by combining Google search query patterns and an offline research conducted by TNS Australia on behalf of Google India. The study revealed that over 60% Indian students, who have access to Internet, use it as their first source to research for information related to educational courses and institutes.
The report points out that education related queries on Google in India has been growing at over 46% year on year – highlighting the strong demand for information on institutes and courses that are available in the country. Out of all education related search queries on Google, over 40% of queries were for higher education courses and institutes. Search queries coming from mobile phones have also grown considerably showing a growth of over 135% y-o-y and amounting to over 22% of all education related search queries.
When it comes to types of courses being searched for on Google – IT/Vocational (44%) courses were the most searched courses, followed by a strong demand for engineering courses (40%) and institutes, followed by postgraduate courses with MBA (16%) being the most searched.
In the offline research, when quizzed on the criteria used for researching/selecting institutes/courses, 56 percent students highlighted that placements is the most important criteria for selecting a institute and course, followed by 49 percent for faculty, 48 percent preferred for course content. However, 43 and 41 percent students pointed out reputation and fee as important factors while choosing a college or institute.
The report also suggest that students see the need for educational institutes to have more mobile friendly websites as over 66% said they use their mobile phones to access the content. Video content also rated high with the students and they request to have more video content on institution websites and other platforms with 46 percent respondents saying that they choose to watch videos as part of their research. In terms of type of video content, students also wanted to watch videos on career options/placements (56%), videos of the faculty (44%), videos of existing students and alumni (29%) and videos of classroom sessions (27%) to help them take more informed decisions.
The report also lists that Sikkim Manipal, Amity, Nirma, Lovely Professional and Sharda Universty are the top five searched private institutes. When it comes to IIMs – Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Indore, Kolkata top the chart and IITs search queries are ruled by Delhi, Chennai, Kharagpur, Roorkee and Kanpur are the best five.
[Pluggd.in recommendation: *Before you take reports on their face value, read: Why and how to read survey reports?.]