Beyond the tennis courts and the sports icon status that she enjoys in India, Sania Mirza is creating history in the cyber world as well. While the media weighs her brand worth and advertisers are busy working out how to optimise their gains from ‘Brand Sania,’ the teen-sensation is getting hotter each day with fans worldwide logging on to the Net to know more and more about the Hyderabadi girl.
The current ratings published on the web, based on search queries made to Google and Yahoo, Sania is almost ruling the Net. In Google Zeitgeist country wise ranking, Sania is the second most sought after query made from India during the recent US Open tournament. Sania even grabbed the ninth position in the ‘Top 15 Gaining Queries’ across countries as Googlers hit the Net to find more about the new rising face of tennis.
On Yahoo’s similar rating meter, called Yahoo Buzz, which provides comprehensive section wise ratings from its global search data, Sania crashed into the ‘Top 20 Sports Leaders’ category at rank 17 on September, just below David Beckham, gaining 31 ranks. She has been in the prestigious sports ‘Leaders’ ranking list for the sixth consecutive day along with basket ball legend Michael Jordan at the 10th position.
The US Open fuelled the popularity of tennis stars on the web, including semi-finalist Russian tennis sensation Elena Dementieva (12) and Maria Sharapova (11), to whom Sania lost in the fourth round.
Commenting on the rising popularity of India’s latest icon, Yahoo observed, “Another player on the rise in buzz is Indian teenager Sania Mirza. The youngster won over the folks back home with a run into the Open’s fourth round. Searches on the subcontinent starlet jumped 38 per cent into our top 700 terms.”
In a short span of time Sania has surpassed cricket maestro Sachin Tendulkar as far as web-links are concerned. She enjoys 1,450,000 unique hits on Yahoo and 635,000 on Google, whereas Sachin can find only 1,090,000 Yahoo links and 413,000 links if he does a self-Googling on the web. On Google’s Zeitgeist Indian chart, Sania beat Aishwarya Rai (3) and cricket (2) in popularity.
Search engines like Google and Yahoo pull together interesting search trends and patterns based on the millions of searches conducted through their engines. While Google brings out weekly Top 15 searches across nine countries, including India, and has a rich archive of search trends since 2001, Yahoo has a more comprehensive and category wise (though no country specific unlike Google) search trends and movements.
This provides insight into the search patterns and changing preferences of netizens worldwide and could prove precious for future research purposes.