South Africans largely took a break from politics this week as they instead sought to find more about a deadly food-borne disease, the Academy Awards, aka the Oscars, and the latest iteration of one of Africa’s biggest football Derbies.
When Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs battle it out, South Africa comes to a virtual standstill. Even if you support other teams, or have little interest in football, you’re expected to pick a side when it comes to the Soweto Derby. Small wonder then that “Orlando Pirates vs Kaizer Chiefs” racked up more than 100 000 searches on Saturday, more than five times as many as the next biggest search term on the day.
On Sunday, meanwhile, the Department of Health announced a breakthrough in identifying the source of the Listeriosis outbreak which has plagued the country for months, killing some 180 people. That saw searches for “Listeriosis” (200 000+) and “Listeriosis Symptoms” (100 000+ searches) spike on the day. Despite “The Oscars” seeing more than 100 000 searches on the same day, it meant that the annual Hollywood extravaganza was eclipsed by the outbreak.
As it turned out, the alleged source of the Listeriosis outbreak was a meat processing factory in Polokwane, resulting in 20 000+ searches for “Polony” on Monday.
Another term to trend during the week was “International Women’s Day” (50 000+ searches), which commemorates the movement for women’s rights and has been celebrated for more than 100 years.
South Africans once again demonstrated their love for European football, with PSG vs Real Madrid and Crystal Palace vs Man United receiving more than 50 000 searches on Tuesday and Monday respectively.
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. Google trends data is updated hourly and is available on https://www.google.co.za/trends.
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.