2015 Google Trends for Pakistan: Disappointing and Horrific

In case you’ve been living under a rock, chances are you that missed Google trends about Pakistanis’ most searched terms and personalities in 2015.  You can revisit our previous post to get an idea.

For those who need a refresher, below were top searched keywords in 2015 on Google from Pakistan:

Google Trends 2015 Pakistan

Google Trends 2015 for Pakistan

Today we’ll be looking at what these trends signify for Pakistan and Pakistanis.

What do these Trends Reveal about Us?

Lets get the obvious things out of the way first. The YouTube ban pretty much ensured that people used alternate ways to access it. Some used proxies whereas most used YTPak.com. This finding shows that the government’s move to keep YouTube banned was an exercise in futility.

The next thing about these trends shouldn’t come as a shocker to anyone. Pakistanis consume Indian drama serials and….. the ongoing shenanigans of Big Boss contestants. Though its not surprising, perhaps it could’ve been heartening to note if our viewing habits reflected an eclectic taste in other TV genres like Sci-Fi, Thrillers, etc. other than the desi answer to ‘Keeping up with the Kardashians’ from next door.


At Least These 3 Are A ‘Welcome’ Change from the Usual Political Suspects of the Yesteryears 

Then we have the personalities. The example of Reham Khan and Ayaan Ali in the top 2 positions in Personalities list reveals that Pakistanis like their politicized damsels-in-distress more than the contestants of Big Boss (author’s note: I had to Google them all to know those strange sounding people all had one thing in common!).


That Time When the Author Has to Add To the Tally of Google Trends

It’s interesting to note that an Italian scientist Alessandro Volta occupies 7th position in the personalities list. The inventor of the electric battery on this list can mean that the academics still figures in the way internet is used in Pakistan and this bodes well for the future.


This Guy made it to The List. We’re as surprised as you are!

Data like this is instrumental for scholars, behavior scientists, marketing agencies and think tanks to craft tailor made strategies for the local populace.

However, the homogeneity of the results doesn’t require a high level analyst to tell us what Pakistanis are busy doing on the internet.

Indian movies and shows clearly dominate the search volume and that paints a worrying picture. There’s no remote mention of any book, any high level idea; not even ISIS or climate change.

Initial trends still paint an interesting picture of human nature triumphing above all. Entertainment and politics seem to be the preferred way of consuming media on the internet by Pakistani users.

It also bodes ill for 3G/4G services, which started in Pakistan roughly a year ago. The larger goals to connect Pakistanis and use the internet for productive endeavors won’t be fulfilled if everyone just keeps searching for Indian movies and shows with the provided access.

Do these trends reveal that Pakistanis are using the internet for the lowest common denominator? It’s still too early to make sweeping generalizations given the length of time for current-generation telecommunications service here, but it is indeed a point to worry about and concerned authorities should look into the topic.

This whole situation indicates that Pakistan stands at lowest level of digital literacy. In such circumstances it would be hard for Pakistanis — individually and as a nation — to achieve goals (increase in GDP for instance) that are usually associated with internet uptake.