Sunday, 5 January 2014

The two search engines that matter

Happy New Year everyone. Continuing off from the last blog the two major global search engines Google and Baidu (China only) have now released their top ten trending search items over the past year.

1. Nelson Mandela
1. Ya’an Earthquake
2. Paul Walker (Fast & Furious actor)
2. Five Policies of Real Estate Regulation
3. Iphone 5s
 3. H7N9 Virus
4. Cory Monteith (Glee actor)
4. Shenzhou 10 (Chinese spacecraft)
5. Harlem shake
5. Hazy Weather
6. Boston Marathon
6. Diaoyu Islands (Island conflict with Japan
7. Royal Baby
7. Inheritance Tax (rumour of introduction has since been denied)
8. Samsung Galaxy S4
8. Two-child Policy (If one parent is an only child they can now have two children)
9. Playstation 4
9. Central Patrol Group (corruption investigation)
10. North Korea
10. Internet Finance

The most popular global searches on Google were for people who had recently passed away, this unfortunately included Nelson Mandela the most searched for trend in the year. Electronics were the next important items with smartphones in particular popular search items.

The desolation of smog!

For all the talk about the Chinese consumer none of their top ten searches involved a product they were more practical. The most disturbing search pattern was the search for hazy weather while the most searched for term in China was weather (not a trend but as a keyword) the number one Chinese keyword in 2013. Baidu capitalised on this trend with any searches on Baidu showing weather forecasts as well as a life quality index for activities such as car washing and sports.

This growing concern over the environment also showed up on Taobao the leading online commerce site in China. One of the most searched for items was dust masks and heating equipment. People in Jiangsu province purchased the most followed by Beijing.

Phones and games

Baidu's top searches help explain some of Apple's problems, it is only the third most popular searched for phone in China. While Apple products as a whole are popular Samsung seems to be selling better due to the larger screen and is the top ranked search item. Apple also faces local competitors like Xiaomi who better understand local needs.

One major discrepancy between Google and Baidu searches is in consoles with no searches in China. Rumours are that the Xbox One will be heading to China in September 2014. Game consoles have been banned in China since 2000 so as to protect Chinese youth from wasting their minds on computer games. However the internet has helped circumvent the ban with online gaming the norm. Rumours are that the bans will soon been fully lifted hopefully producing a big boost to the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

1. iPhone 5s
1. Samsung Galaxy S4
2. Samsung Galaxy S4
2. Xiaomi 3
3. Playstation 4
 3. iPhone 5S
4. Xbox One
4. Meizu MX2
5. Nexus 5
5. HTCM7
6. HTC One
6. Xiaomi Hongmi
7. iPad Air
7. Apple Macbook Pro
8. Blackberry 10
8. Apple Mac Air
9. Samsung Galaxy Note 3
9. Lenovo Y470
10. Nokia Lumia 1020
10. Dell 14 R


Disclosure: Decisive has no position in Google (GOOG) and Baidu (BIDU) stock 

The material in this article is for informational purposes only and in no way constitutes a solicitation of business or investment advice. The material has been prepared without regard to any client's or other person's investment objectives. Before making an investment decision you should consider the assistance of a financial adviser and whether any investment or service is appropriate in light of your particular investment needs.