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February 17, 2021

Google search for stocks investment surges 223 percent in Pakistan

Business

February 17, 2021

KARACHI: Google has found more than 223 percent growth in searches for stock investing in Pakistan during the last year as it says people are strengthening their economic prospects by boosting their skills and financial knowledge.

The Google ‘Year in Search’ report found that many Pakistanis are finding ways to cope with their work and home duties under one roof, with people actively looking for ways to optimize their time and search for balance.

The report reveals what Pakistani users are searching for online and the opportunities these trends can unlock for brands.

"COVID-19 has affected people in fundamental ways, and has changed how we live our lives significantly. It also created the desire for us to connect to our wider community and give back,” said Faraz Azhar, industry head for South Asia, Google Asia Pacific.

Last year also saw a 328 percent year-over-year increase in searches for ‘dubbed in urdu’ in Pakistan, which is a good indicator that brands are increasingly expected to keep in consideration their customers’ specific preferences, according to the report.

Search queries related to ‘kids home activities’ have grown over 250 percent as Pakistanis are finding ways to teach kids at home while adjusting to the ‘new normal’. There was also a rise in searches for mental health-related information as people are finding ways to deal with the pandemic.

"In a year of historic challenges, happiness and joy have been very welcome. Consumers are embracing the brands that spark joy and create a safe space for them to take a break. We saw an increase of 35 percent searches for online games versus 15 percent decline during the same period last year,” said Aamir Altaf, country head of Google Customer Solutions Sales, South Asia.

2020 pushed Pakistanis to confront societal stigmas and complex issues, as visible from the 40 percent increase in searches for ‘gender equality’. In addition, regardless of whether mental health is widely acknowledged, there’s been a rise in searches for mental health-related information, with searches for 'mental health support' increasing by 100 percent.

Confronted with their own personal consumption habits during lockdowns, Pakistanis have been reassessing the impact on the environment. A 128 percent surge was witnessed in searches for 'reusable' as people sought ways to change their consumption habits. There was also an increased desire to proactively connect to our wider community to help and give back, with a 122 percent increase in searches for charity work, according to the report.

People also looked for comfort and ways to de-stress this year, more than in previous years. There was a 90 percent increase in searches for 'gaming chair'. As social distancing became the new way of life, there was a surge in searches ‘adopt a pet’ with a 700 percent increase.

Many also have been seeking forms of indulging themselves while spending more time at home - there was a 140 percent growth in recipe searches for 'easy dessert'.

Proactive health management is on the rise, with 109 percent growth in searches for 'disease prevention' in a year, according to the report.