December 19, 2014

A Year in Search: The Moments that Defined 2014 in India

Every year, we reflect on the moments that made us laugh, smile from ear to ear, or kept us gripped to our screens in our annual Year in Search. It was a year that witnessed one of the biggest elections unfold, death of a beloved comedian, the mysterious vanishing of a plane and a terrifying disease. We were captivated by sporting events, and had our fun with birds, a bucket of ice, and a frozen princess.  

Watch our video to rediscover the events, people and topics that defined 2014:

Elections 2014 captivates India
More than 500 million people voted in India’s Election, making it the largest ever in the world. Increased interest was clearly reflected in the trending search results. Search Queries regarding candidates, parties and issues dominated Elections 2014 searches. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was also the most searched politician and was ahead of top Bollywood stars such as Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan . 

Indians love their entertainment
IPL 2014 and Bollywood movies consisted of the top 10 trending searches in India. There is no doubt that Indians love cricket and movies, reflected clearly in their search queries.. Not only was Sunny Leone the most searched personality, but her movie - Ragini MMS 2 - became the top trending movie of the year. Salman Khan dominated the most searched actors’ list while both his movies Kick and Jai Ho were among the top trending movies searched. 

All the world’s a stage
Nothing brings people closer like sports, and 2014 was witness to one of the biggest athletic events. The World Cup in Brazil had its fair share of unforgettable moments and had everyone glued to their TVs and mobile devices all summer. From Luis Suarez’s bite heard around the world, to Tim Howard's superman performance vs. Belgium, to Germany’s incredible run to their fourth title, the competition certainly lived up to its reputation and topped the charts.

While sports brought people together, so did a good cause. This year, awareness for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, better known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, reached an all-time high around the world due to the viral ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. As celebrities and everyday people alike braved a bucket of ice cold water for a cause, donations to help find a cure for the illness hit almost $100 million.

Here’s the full list of our top 10 global trending searches:

You can find more on these top searches and more at

Explore the stories from the year, one chapter at a time
On our Year in Search site you can take an in-depth look at the stories that made 2014 unforgettable. From the rise of the selfie, to understanding if we search for “how” more than “why,” each chapter shares a glimpse into the people and events that drove this year forward.

We've also made it easier to find the trending topics of the year directly from Google Search. For the first time, a simple search for [google 2014] will give you a peek at what made the top trending lists from around the world. And you can follow more insights from the year with #YearInSearch. So take a moment to appreciate what this year had to offer. It’ll be 2015 before you know it.

Posted by +Amit Singhal, Senior Vice President, Search

December 15, 2014

Google introduces Hindi ads on its Display Network.

As a part of Google’s ongoing efforts to support more languages around the world, we’re glad to announce that AdWords now supports Hindi ads across the Google Display Network. Starting today, you’ll be able to advertise to India’s booming online population in the most widely spoken local language - Hindi.

Why Hindi:
With over 500 million speakers around the world, a wealth of quality Hindi content is available on the Web.  We’re excited to launch support for Hindi, which will enable global advertisers to connect with one of India’s fastest growing online audiences.

What does this mean:
AdWords advertisers can now build campaigns reaching Hindi language sites on the Google Display Network using text, image, rich media, and video display ad formats.

How do I get started:
  1. Can’t wait to start reaching out to Hindi-speaking consumers? Get a refresher on how to create an AdWords campaign and specifically how to target the Google Display Network.
  2. Interested in showing your ads only on Hindi language sites? Learn more about how language targeting works.

Posted by Emanuele Brandi, Product Sales Lead and Dushyant Khare, Head of Partner Business Solutions - India & Southeast Asia

December 12, 2014

Helping Indian web publishers say नमस्ते

[Cross posted from the Official Asia Pacific Blog]

Among 1.3 billion Indians, only about 10% speak and read English fluently, and most of them are already online. What about the remaining 90% of Indians who only read, or prefer, Indic-language content? 

There’s a lot that can be done to meet the needs of the millions of Indian-language speakers who are yet to come online. By forming the Indian Language Internet Alliance with partners from the tech and publishing industries, we hope to help Indic web publishers and content creators make more Indian-language content available and accessible on the Internet.

There are plenty of ways to get involved in making the web a more relevant resource for Indian-language speakers:

  • One of the biggest obstacles to the discoverability of Indic content on the web is the use of non-standard, non-Unicode fonts. Non-standard fonts prevent users from being able to read them on a variety of web browsers and devices. To help address this problem, we’ve developed a set of unicode Hindi fonts that are free for anyone to use.

  • To further aid with discoverability of content, webmasters, publishers and bloggers who write in Hindi and other Indic languages can enrol in seminars and participate in Hangouts to learn tips about improving how content is found. Check out the Google India Webmaster community page for details.
  • With the number of Indians accessing the Internet via a mobile device expected to grow exponentially, it’s crucial to get the mobile experience right. If you’re a webmaster, there are some simple steps you can take to optimize and make your site more mobile-friendly.

Posted by Syed Malik MairajWebmaster Relations Specialist, Product Quality Operations, Google India

December 11, 2014

YOUTUBE IN REWIND: What you were watching in 2014

It’s that time of year again to pause, rewind and remember the videos, the entertainers, and the moments that captivated you in 2014.

While Comedy nights with Kapil took the top slot, it’s the independent video creators like TheViralFever and AIB, who took YouTube by storm this year in India. They got netizens hooked onto YouTube watching spoof parodies of leading politicians and news anchor. AIB’s Genius of the year video featuring Alia Bhatt showed us that bollywood does have a sense of humour, this hilarious video took the second spot. The seatbelt crew video with a social message on road safety went viral and got the 7th spot in the top ten trending video of the year.

On the music front, India crooned to Baby Doll from Ragini MMS2 followed by Yo Yo Honey Singh's Char Botal Vodka song from the same movie. From international artists, Shakira’s La la la song also reached the top 10 music video in India.

Check out the YouTube Rewind channel to explore the trending videos of the year and popular channels in India.

India: Top Trending YouTube Videos (non-music)

Global: Top Trending YouTube Videos (non-music)

  1. 10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Woman

Introducing an offline YouTube experience in India

Imagine trying to watch the new trailer for Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge but video buffers every five seconds. Or imagine only being able to watch the first minute of it, before stepping out of the WiFi zone at the mall.

Access to high-speed, affordable data remains a big challenge for our Indian YouTube fans, so we’ve been working on creating new ways to use our product with a lesser burden on data and speed.

Today we’re releasing a new offline feature within the YouTube app, in India. This feature lets people take videos offline to watch later during short periods of low or no internet connectivity. For videos where this feature is available, people can choose to add the video for offline viewing by tapping on the offline icon that sits under the video frame.

Once taken offline, videos can be played back without an Internet connection for 48 hours, allowing people to enjoy YouTube videos without worrying about slow connections. 

Starting today, much of the popular YouTube content in India is already available for people to view offline, including video content from some of India’s household names for entertainment and music, including T-Series, Saregama and Yashraj Films. Making these popular videos available for offline playback will help people move past the challenges of data connection, speed and cost to enjoy a smooth, buffer-free version of their favorite content.

This new offline YouTube experience is just a start. We hope to keep finding better ways to make video content more affordable and accessible to our growing base of YouTube mobile users in India.

Jay Akkad, Product Manager, YouTube recently watched “Nanga Punga Dost' VIDEO Song | PK | Aamir Khan | Anushka Sharma | T-series” offline

December 10, 2014

A new wave of mobile-friendly sites

Have you ever visited a website using Google Search on your mobile phone, only to find that the text was too small, the links were tiny, and the content could not be viewed without scrolling sideways? This usually happens when the website has not been optimized to be viewed on a mobile phone and can be a frustrating experience.


Surfing the web on your mobile phone should be enjoyable and effortless, which is why we’re now helping you find out in advance which websites offer a good experience on mobile devices. Look for the mobile-friendly label in our mobile search results like this:

We hope this helps everyone to have a better mobile web experience. You can hop on for the ride too! If you notice that your favorite websites don’t have the mobile-friendly label, reach out to the site owners or webmasters and let them know about your mobile experience on their sites. And if you want to make mobile-friendly websites, visit our Guide for mobile websites.

Let’s ditch the pinching, scrolling and aimless tapping, and welcome the new wave of mobile-friendly sites.


Posted by Javier Perez, Google Search Quality Team and Doantam Phan, Google Mobile Search

December 9, 2014

Chromecast comes to India

Whether it’s Comedy Nights with Kapil or highly anticipated movie trailers, Indian entertainment lovers will now be able to use Chromecast to bring their favourite content from a phone, tablet or laptop to the biggest screen in their homes —  the TV.

A streaming media device that plugs into any HDTV in your house, Chromecast and a good broadband connection make it easy to watch music videos like Tu Meri from Bang Bang or the latest episodes of Big Boss on the big screen. With more than 35 percent of people accessing YouTube from mobile devices and large proportion switching between two to three devices everyday, Chromecast will help these mobile content lovers bridge the gap between their devices and their TV.

Fast and easy to setup, Chromecast tucks neatly away behind your TV and works with Android, iOS, Windows, Mac and ChromeOS devices. It taps into the same experience of using apps and browsing the web that you’re familiar with on your smartphone, tablet, and laptop, so there’s nothing new to learn. You can cast from your Chrome browser, phone or tablet by simply opening a supported app or the browser and pressing the cast icon.

With Chromecast your phone, tablet or laptop acts like a remote — you can press play and pause, control the volume, and more — but unlike other streaming solutions, you can still multitask. This means you can continue to laugh at the latest episode from TheViralFever on the TV and send an email to your friends to tell them how great it is at the same time.

In India, Chromecast currently supports hundreds of apps including YouTube and Google Play Movies, as well as apps from partners like Spuul,  YuppTV and Eros Now — home to popular Bollywood and regional movies like RamLeela, Chennai Express and Queen, as well as music, and TV shows on-demand. To celebrate the launch, Airtel and Eros are offering Chromecast customers a range of subscription and content bundling options. 

With the the open software development kit (SDK), any developer can integrate their app or website with Cast to make their content available.  Since launching in the US over more than 6,000 developers worldwide are actively developing more than 10K Google Cast apps across Android, iOS, and Chrome with the open SDK. We’re looking forward to seeing the range of great TV shows, movies, music and more from local content creators which will soon be available for Indian audiences.

Chromecast costs just Rs. 2999 and will be available from and select Airtel stores across India from December 10.

Posted by Vivek Jayaraman, Product Manager, Chromecast