By Aimee Chanthadavong

Despite a surge in overseas shopping, Australian retailers still top the list as the fastest rising Google searches for retailers, Google’s Australian Brand Zeitgeist reveals.

For the first time, Google has announced the 2010 Australian Brand Zeitgeist (German for ‘the spirit of the times’), which shows the top 10 search queries in Australia for the year.

As more Australians research brands, products, and businesses online, the Brand Zeitgeist reveals what resonated with Aussie consumers in 2010 and presents insight for marketers to tailor their campaigns in 2011.

 With 2010 being the year for online shopping, the fastest rising search term in the retail category was an Australian brand: ‘Woolworths online shopping’. The search for ‘Rubi Shoes’ also made the list as did the new outlet mall in Melbourne –  ‘dfo south wharf’ and retail and auction site – ‘grays online’.

Speaking to Retailbiz, Ross McDonald, Google Australia industry head retail, said that Australians are still interested in buying local.

“If we look through the millions of searches, people are still searching local brands. This is a great opportunity for local retailers to reach out to locals because Australians are familiar with local brand names and there’s a level of trust and they know what great experiences they have in-store,” he said.

However, while Australian retailers topped the list, it remained dominated by international brands such as Zara, Urban Outfitters and Saks Fifth Avenue.

According to McDonald, the reason for this is because consumers are using Google’s search engine as a main query tool.

“Since Zara announced they were entering the Australian, the search for ‘zara’ has been massive and it’s mainly to find where the stores will be located, when they will open and what they will stock. Similarly, it’s on the rumour mill that Urban Outfitters may open a store here so this creates the drive to search for these brands,” he said.