Over the past seven days, South Africa’s Google search trends were dominated by the tragic death of a young talent, the anniversary of the birth of democracy in South Africa, and an English footballing giant.
By far the biggest news of the week arrived on the weekend as South Africans learned that actor, presenter, and producer Akhumzi Jezile had died in a car crash outside Queenstown on Saturday morning. As people searched for details of the crash, there were more than 500 000 searches for his name. Also in the car were singer Siyasanga Kobese, and actor Thobani Mseleni. All three died in the crash, along with two other unnamed victims.
Jezile’s death came just a day after South Africans came together to celebrate Freedom Day. The public holiday commemorates the first post-apartheid elections, held on 27 April 1994. This year, the day generated more than 200 000 searches. Aiding that search interest was Google’s special Freedom Day doodle, which gave users of the search engine more information about the day.
On Tuesday, meanwhile, South Africans were most interested in Liverpool (100 000+ searches), ahead of their Wednesday night clash with Roma in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League semi-final. In the event, Liverpool lost the match 4-2, but still go through to the final (where they’ll face defending champions Real Madrid) 7-6 on aggregate.
Also on Tuesday, South Africans generated more than 50 000 searches for Shamba, a lion who was killed after attacking Mike Hodge, the owner of Marakele Animal Sanctuary. Hodge sustained injuries to his neck and jaw and is currently recovering in hospital.
Other terms to trend during the week included “Man United Vs Arsenal” (50 000+ searches), “Mamelodi Sundowns Vs Ajax Cape Town” (50 000+ searches), Sandile Mantsoe (20 000+ searches), and “Kanye West” (20 000+ 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. 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.
Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. Through products and platforms like Search, Maps, Gmail, Android, Google Play, Chrome and YouTube, Google plays a meaningful role in the daily lives of billions of people and has become one of the most widely-known companies in the world. Google is a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc.