Today in Tech: What Google Trends say about IT firms

NS Ramnath
Published: 06, May 2013

I have been with Forbes India since August 2008. I like writing about ideas, events and people at the intersection of business, society and technology. Prior, I was with Economic Times. I am based in Bangalore. Email:

What Google Trends say about IT firms Google Trends hit the headlines late last month when three academics - Tobias Preis, Helen Susannah Moat and H. Eugene Stanley - published a paper that said "Google Trends data did not only reflect the current state of the stock markets but may have also been able to anticipate certain future trends." (That the lead author has a PhD in theoretical physics, and the other two work in physics department at Boston University says something about importance of intersections.)

I spent some time looking at Google Trends for IT Services companies with a very modest ambition. To see if they will say something interesting at a glance.

Two takeaways. One, financial performance matters: While interest in all IT companies seem to be waning, there's a big fall for the companies whose financial performance, specifically growth rate, is poor. All these companies employ more people than they did in 2005, have more customers and earn more. The big change is in the speed at which they were growing. Two, locations matter: For Infosys and Wipro, the two Bangalore based companies which have their biggest centres in Bangalore, there's a high level of interest in Karnataka. For the other three, predominant interest is from Chennai. It's not about where the top managers sit. Neither TCS nor Cognizant is headquartered in Chennai, but both have their biggest centres there.

(Click on the image for a bigger version)

Google Trends



European Market: Are IT companies there yet?
Social, Cloud, Mobility, Analytics and Big Data - the commonly heard buzz words might be the big drivers of growth for IT companies in the future, but right now almost every analyst I have spoken to say three segments are the key: remote infrastructure, platform-based BPO and Europe. If you want growth in the next couple of years, it's likely to come from these.

Media focus is increasingly on Europe. A recent Economic Times report quoted a Nasscom official who said at least 20 European R&D facilities have been set up in India in the last one year. And at least 3000 jobs were created by new centres started by European firms. These numbers are important because it shows European companies are increasingly comfortable with offshoring, moving work overseas, even if it's not to a third party firm. A bigger scale outsourcing could follow. A Mint report today says for many companies Europe is growing faster than US. But, then again, the base is smaller. The next few quarters will give a clearer signal.


Also of interest
4 Ways Eye-Tracking Technology Will Change Our Lives | Popular Mechanics

But these implementations of eye-tracking tech are mere gimmicks compared with what the future of eye tracking will hold, including changes to the way we drive, play, read, and, of course, advertise


Uninor to rope in auto drivers, milkmen to sell SIMs, recharge | Business Line / PTI 

The project has kicked off with 10 auto rickshaws in Pune as a pilot. This number will soon be scaled up to 40 such auto-rickshaws.


The Muse’s Kathryn Minshew: Tech Needs More Visible Female Role Models | Xconomy 

“In the Valley it was often very hard for us to get perspectives of people who were not in tech,” Minshew said. Returning to New York offered the advantage, she said, of access to more diverse industries.


The Naked and the TED | The New Republic 

Evgeny Morozov's scathing review of Parag & Ayesha Khanna's book Hybrid Reality: Thriving in the Emerging Human-Technology Civilization

The recipe is simple. Find some peculiar global trend—the more arcane, the better. Draw a straight line connecting it to the world of apps, electric cars, and Bay Area venture capital. Mention robots, Japan, and cyberwar. Use shiny slides that contain incomprehensible but impressive maps and visualizations. Stir well. Serve on multiple platforms.


The myth of Inbox Zero and the path to peace of mind | Gigaom 

... so long as opportunities exist or work is in progress, your backlog of to-dos will always be greater than zero, no matter how you track them, define them, or how quickly you complete them.



  • gopi

    ram - didn't understand the x-axis, is it stock price or growth rate or something else? thanks

    on May 6, 2013
  • Sanjoy Gupta

    Unsurprising that employee and potential employee search intent dominate the overall Google Trends picture. The interesting corollary is whether the delta in growth rate has a similar effect on interest levels of clients. The same graphs with India data expunged would be interesting to view.

    on May 6, 2013
    • Dinesh

      Very True, It will give us a very good picture about client perception. Ram - Can you shed light on this

      on May 8, 2013
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