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SEMrush tracks top 5,000 ‘how to’ queries searched by Indians between February to March 2020 

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The study shows that Indians are comfortable using internet to find answers to practical questions

A recent SEMrush study found that Indians actively use search engines to find answers to pressing issues. SEMrush tracked the top 5,000 ‘how to’ queries entered in search engines by Indians between February to March 2020. It found that the five most asked ‘how to’ questions were: how to pronounce quarantine, how to increase immunity, how to wear mask properly, how to increase immunity home remedies, and how to boost the immune system. Each was searched 1.1 lakh, 1.65 lakh, 0.54 lakh, 0.148, and 0.148 lakh times respectively in March.    

The study shows that Indians are comfortable using the internet to find answers to practical questions. The study reveals that while the keywords ‘how to increase immunity’ were searched most often in March, searches with keywords ‘how to pronounce quarantine’ increased the most per cent wise between February and March. The per cent increase in queries having the keyword ‘how to pronounce quarantine’ was a staggering 2956 per cent. From being searched for a mere 3,600 times in February, the keywords rose to be searched 1.1 lakh times in March 2020. Notably, March was the month when a nationwide lockdown was imposed across India.

In addition to revealing what answers Indians seek online during the COVID-19 pandemic, the study also provides a hint that use of the internet has permeated virtually every strata of Indian society. The study shows that people living in rural areas are the ones who made the query. This indeed suggests that the word quarantine is being used more widely in India. 

In addition to wanting to know how to pronounce relevant words, Indians are also searching for ways to keep themselves immune from COVID-19. Undoubtedly some doing these searches online are looking for alternate ways to keep themselves safe from COVID-19. Marketers of products could help contain the spread of COVID-19 should take note that many consumers still feel the need to search for alternative ways to be safe from the virus.

The increase in the number of people wanting to learn how to wear masks is indicative of the success of the government’s anti-COVID-19 measures. Yet, many are also searching for home remedies that could help fight COVID-19. There is no such reliable remedy meaning the government needs to disseminate such information more broadly.  

Other popular searches like ‘how to increase immune system’ indicate that people know that a robust immune system is a possible defence against COVID-19. 

Speaking about the result of the study Fernando Angulo, Head of Communications, SEMrush said “We are winning the fight against COVID-19. The measures the government put in place are being adhered to by all. Our study shows that many are willing to go even further than what the government recommends. In addition to following the government’s programme, they are searching for other ways to keep themselves and their families safe from COVID-19. Such people are potential consumers for businesses that make products that provide an additional layer of security against COVID-19. These include high-quality face masks, air purifiers, sanitisers and other similar products. Our study gives a rough estimate of the size of this market and hints that people in this sector are likely to have less disposable income. Demand for these products, especially if they are affordable, is unlikely to abate until a COVID-19 vaccine is ready.”

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