If any South Africans thought this week was going to be about having a peaceful run into the long weekend, a look at the search trends for the past seven days would quickly prove them wrong. Among the biggest trending stories for the week were the sentencing of a racist and some seriously unsporting behaviour on the cricket field. At least one trending topic, however, had a more peaceful theme.
Saturday’s search trends were dominated by the phrase “Australia Ball Tampering” (50 000+ searches) after footage emerged of batsman Cameron Bancroft rubbing what turned out to be sandpaper on the ball while on the field. It later emerged that he had done so under the instruction of captain Steve Smith and vice captain David Warner. The fallout has been immense, with Smith and Warner banned from playing for Australia for a year and from holding leadership positions for two. Bancroft, meanwhile, received a nine month ban.
The nature of the incident means that it received significantly more than the 20 000 searches Bafana Bafana did as they emerged victorious over Zambia in the final of the Four Nations Cup.
On Sunday, things were a little more peaceful with “Palm Sunday” receiving 10 000+ searches and “Palm Sunday 2018” 5 000+ searches. Palm Sunday is a Christian movable feast that falls on the Sunday before Easter. The feast commemorates Jesus‘ triumphal entry into Jerusalem.
On Wednesday meanwhile, the nation’s attention turned to the Randburg Magistrates Court. There, estate agent Vicki Momberg was sentenced to an effective two years’ imprisonment for using the ‘k-word’ against police officers in a verbal attack that was caught on camera. Pending the result of an appeal, Momberg may be the first person in South Africa to be jailed for crimen injuria.
Other terms to trend during the week include “Germany vs Brazil” (10 000+ searches), “Hermanus” and “Hermanus Riots” (5 000+ searches each), and Jennifer Ferguson (5 000+ 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.