Google searches for the phrase “jobs near me” have steadily risen over the past four-and-a-half years in India, with search interest surging in the last two years. The phrase figured in 2018’s top 10 searches under the “near me” category in India, according to Google’s “Year in Search” results, which recapped the top search trends for the year.
A graph of the interest in the search phrase “jobs near me” between January 2004 and December 2018 (as of 36 hours before Wednesday) on Google shows that interest in the phrase remained largely flat between January 2004 and May 2014 — with a few blips during the period. Then, it started crawling upwards.
In May 2014, interest in the phrase was denoted by the number “1”. It increased to “2” in June 2014, “17” in April 2017, “50” in August 2017, “88” in April 2018 and peaked at “100” in July 2018. While these numbers do not convey the absolute search volume on the platform, they represent the search interest relative to the highest point of interest for the given region and time.
At Google, a value of 100 is the peak popularity for the term. A value of 50 means that the term is half as popular. A score of 0 means that there was not enough data for this term.
According to regional interest information, the searches under the head “jobs near me” seemed centred around urban and industrial hubs and were most popular in Secunderabad during the nearly 15-year period, followed by Thane, Navi Mumbai, Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Visakhapatnam, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Gurgaon.
Similar to the interest over time data, the interest in sub-regions over time is calculated on a scale from 0 to 100, where 100 is the location with the most popularity as a fraction of total searches in that location, a value of 50 indicates a location which is half as popular. In India, more than 50 per cent of job-related queries originates from mobiles.
The steady increase in interest over the last 4-5 years has also been witnessed in other “near me” search terms such as “mobile stores near me”, “supermarkets near me”, “gas stations near me”, that are the top searched phrases in the category. Incidentally, Google had launched a jobs search tool in April 2018 on its website, providing users with job listings sourced from various online employment portals.
While announcing the new tool in April, Google had said: “…in Q4 of 2017, we saw a jump of more than 45 per cent in jobs search queries compared to the previous year. More than 50 per cent of job-related queries originates from mobile which is unsurprising for India where the majority of Internet users are getting online from their smartphones. And these mobile-based queries are up nearly 90 per cent year on year.”
The increase in search interest of the phrase over the last 4-5 years on a 15-year scale, while not directly conveying search volumes, could also be a function of growing mobile and internet usage in the country. According to data published by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), the country’s overall tele-density as of September 2018 was at 89.51 per cent, significantly higher than 70.63 per cent in September 2013. The increase was primarily aided by an uptick in the rural tele-density over the years.