Given the role she played in South Africa’s recent history, it should hardly be surprising that Winnie Mandela dominated Google Search trends this week. In fact, searches for the struggle veteran far outstripped the next two most searched for terms over the past seven days: Maya Angelou and Liverpool.
With the death of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela on Monday, South Africa lost one of its political icons. As the country mourned, its citizens took to Google to find out more about the woman labeled the “mother of the nation”. On Monday, following the announcement of her death, there were more than 500 000 searches for her name. Madikizela-Mandela died aged 81 in a Johannesburg hospital. She will be given a state funeral on 14 April at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto.
Another powerful icon trended on Wednesday as Google celebrated the 90th birthday of poet Dr Maya Angelou with a doodle. As result, there were more than 100 000 searches for her name.
On the same day, Liverpool also received more than 100 000 searches. In part that was due to their 3-0 victory over Premier League rivals Manchester City in the Uefa Champions League quarter finals. There can be little doubt, however, that home fans throwing bottles and beer cans at the Manchester City bus added to the search activity.
Football also dominated on Tuesday, when Real Madrid received more than 100 000 searches in the wake of their 3-0 victory over Juventus in the Champions League. The match saw defender Sergio Ramos become the most booked player in the club’s history as he racked up his 222nd yellow card in its colours. He has received a further 21 yellow cards while playing for Spain.
Other terms to trend during the week included, “Barcelona” (50 000+ searches) “Zindzi Mandela” (20 000+ searches), and “April Fools Pranks” (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.