“How to vote” and “dance classes near me”: What Indians asked Google in 2019

Where is my Google assistant?
Where is my Google assistant?
Image: REUTERS/Dado Ruvic
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Election-related searches have dominated Google in India so far this year.

The most searched “How to” question on the American internet search engine from the world’s largest democracy in 2019 has been “How to vote,” according to its annual trends released yesterday (Dec. 11). The five-yearly general elections happened in India this year in April and May.

Other election-related “how to” searches that trended on Google this year are “How to check name in the voter list” and “How to know polling booth.”

Politics and related topics, too, dominated searches.

What is?

The most asked “what is” question was about Article 370 which granted special status to the restive state of Jammu & Kashmir. This law, which was abruptly rendered ineffective in August, gave J&K autonomy over its affairs, except in foreign affairs, defence, and communication.

The other searches in this category were “What is exit poll?” “What is Howdy Modi?” and “What is Ayodhya case?”

Near me

The highest local searches for places nearby in India so far has been for dance classes, Google said. “Interestingly, a pertinent entry…was ‘Air quality Index near me’,” its press release said.

OK Google

Overall searches on Google in India revolve around three events: Lok Sabha elections, ICC Cricket World Cup, and the launch of Chandrayaan 2. Several movies, too, have made it to the list.

Indian Air Force officer, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who was captured and later released by Pakistan, has been the most searched person on Google in India in 2019 so far. Others are mostly from Bollywood and cricket.