The untimely death of one of music’s biggest names, the struggles of a South African football giant, and a massive national strike dominated Google’s local search trends over the past seven days.
On Friday, the world learned that Avicii — one of the biggest names in Electronic Dance Music (EDM) — was found dead in his hotel room in Oman. The 28-year-old Swede (real name Tim Bergling) made a massive impact in his short career, most notably with the feel-good anthem “Wake Me Up”. On the day, there were more than 500 000 searches for his stage name, with “Avicii’s Death” seeing a further 10 000 searches on Saturday and 20 000 on Sunday.
On Saturday, meanwhile, there were more than 200 000 searches for Kaizer Chiefs. Unfortunately for AmaKhosi supporters, it was for all the wrong reasons. The Soweto giants went down 2-0 to Free State Stars in the semi-final of the Nedbank Cup. In the aftermath of the loss, Chiefs fans went on the rampage, damaging the Moses Mabhida Stadium and assaulting security guards and other fans. The incident was enough for coach Steve Komphela to announce his resignation.
As the work week started, it emerged that the South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) would be embarking on a nationwide strike in protest of the new minimum wage bill and labour law amendments, among other things. As people sought to find out what impact the strike might have, the term “National Strike” was searched for more than 200 000 times. The trend of wanting to find out more about the strike continued on Tuesday, with more than 100 000 searches for “strike tomorrow”.
Top spot on Tuesday, however, went to “Liverpool”, also with 100 000+ searches, thanks to its 5-2 win over Roma in the UEFA Champions League semi-final.
South African banking giant ABSA took some heat on Wednesday, generating more than 100 000 searches as its online banking platform and smartphone app went offline. Services were restored just before noon. Also seeing more than 100 000 searches on the day was “Real Madrid” as they came from behind to snatch a 2-1 win against Bayern Munich in their UEFA Champions’ League semi-final.
Other terms to trend during the week, included: “Maritzburg United vs Mamelodi Sundowns” (50 000+ searches), “Man United vs Tottenham” (50 000+ searches), and “Earth Day” (50 000+ 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.
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