This week South Africans took to Google to find out more about one of their literary icons, get the lowdown on an H&M scandal, and to understand the registration and application processes at universities around the country.
Google’s Alan Paton Doodle, commemorating the Cry the Beloved Country author’s 115th birthday, went a long way to ensuring that his name was the most searched for individual term during the week. At time of writing, it had more than 100 000 searches.
Clothing retailer H&M (20 000+ searches) meanwhile trended for all the wrong reasons on Tuesday after it included an image of a black child wearing a “coolest monkey in the jungle hoodie” in its online catalogue. Jacob Zuma received a similar number of searches on the day, following his announcement of an inquiry into state capture.
Zuma’s announcement of fee free education in late 2017 played a role in the considerable interest in university registration and application processes this week. “Tut Late Application 2018” (20 000+ searches), “TUT” (20 000+ searches) and “UJ” (20 000+ searches) all trended on Monday.
This put those search terms at similar levels to the Golden Globes, which saw 20 000+ searches for “75th Golden Globe Awards Nominees And Winners” and 10 000+ searches for “Golden Globes 2018” on Sunday. Given the societal undertones of this year’s awards, as well as Oprah Winfrey’s stirring Lifetime Achievement Award acceptance speech, those numbers shouldn’t be too surprising.
Other terms which trended during the week included “Chelsea vs Arsenal” (5 000+ searches), “Khanyi Mbau” (5 000+ searches), and “Orlando Pirates” (10 000+ searches).
Google processes more than 40 000+ search queries every second. This translates to more than a billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide.
Search trends in South Africa tend to be news and sports-driven. People search for things they hear or see on the news, and sports search terms trend several times a week, on average, every week.