Google Reveals Africa Top Searches


Google has announced its annual Zeitgeist, a look at 2012 through the collective eyes of the world on the web, offering a unique perspective on this year’s major events and hottest trends based on searches conducted in South Africa and other (few African countries.)

Topping the list for overall trending South African searches in 2012 is free classifieds site, OLX – online buying and selling has become a popular means to get rid of those unwanted items. Beloved songstress and world famous diva, Whitney Houston (who passed away in February this year), claims second place on the South African list. Hurricane Sandy, which devastated portions of the US, the Caribbean and the Mid-Atlantic in October came in third.

Whitney also takes the number one spot on the list of overall trending people in SA, followed closely by international athletics star, Caster Semenya and newsmaking social celebrity, Khanyi Mbau.

If you haven’t tried to do the Gangnam style dance (yes, you, the one practising it in front of your mirror) then we wouldn’t believe you. This dance track that has captured the attention of the planet and has worked its way into pop culture history comes in at number four in the overall trending searches. In fifth place is the 2012 Olympics, which also topped the trending events list.

South Africans kept it local with searches for short-lived airline, Velvet Sky, coming in at sixth place. Caster Semenya won a different kind of (online) medal by coming in as the fastest trending sportsperson of the year, followed closely by swimming hero, Chad le Clos.

2012 was perhaps the year of discovering love in South Africa with users asking ‘how to kiss’ and ‘what is love?’ Let’s hope love is shared all around in 2013. At the same time, unexpected hobbies seem to be making a comeback, with ‘how to crochet’ and ‘how to knit’ also making it into the top ten ‘how tos’.

Last but not least, in terms of tech trends, the iPad 3 captured South Africa’s imagination, coming in 10th overall, and grabbing first place on the top gadgets list.

In addition to showcasing what people were curious about in South Africa, Google Zeitgeist tools also offer insight into which topics captured the world’s attention in 2012. Top search terms from over fifty countries appear on our Google Zeitgeist webpage, – from most-searched travel destinations in Brazil, trending Australian celebrities and most-searched Egyptian Olympians, to top tech gadgets in Japan and everything in between.

To see more information about Google Zeitgeist across the globe, use interactive data visualisations visit
(Unfortunately not much on Zimbabwe yet
What is Google’s Year-End Zeitgeist?

“Zeitgeist” means “the spirit of the times.” At the end of each year, Google celebrates this spirit by revisiting the year’s top searches around the world. From most-searched travel destinations in Brazil, to trending Australian celebrities, to most-searched Egyptian Olympians, to top tech gadgets in Japan, and everything in between, these lists give us insight into the curiosities that captured the world’s attention in 2012. This year, we’re launching the 12th annual Google Year-End Zeitgeist on Our site showcases over 800 top-ten lists across pop culture, sports, music, politics, news, and more. It’s global, spanning over 50 countries. You can check out global search trends, compare terms using interactive data visualizations, and watch the annual Zeitgeist video.

South Africa Overall Trending Searches

1. OLX

2. Whitney Houston

3. Hurricane Sandy

4. Gangnam Style

5. Olympics

6. Velvet Sky

7. Caster Semenya

8. Diablo 3

9. Khanyi Mbau

10. iPad 3

South Africa Overall Trending: GADGETS & PHONES

1. ipad 3

2. samsung galaxy s3

3. samsung galaxy s2

4. ipad mini

5. nokia n9

6. iphone 4s

7. nokia lumia

8. blackberry 9360

9. galaxy s3

10. blackberry 9320

Nigeria Overall Trending Searches

1. Jamb

2. Mozat

3. Boko Haram

4. Asuu Strike

5. Google news

6. Eskimi

7. Whitney Houston

8. Vanguard news

9. NNPC recruitment

10. Facebook

Kenya Overall Trending Searches


2. Facebook

3. Whitney Houston

4. Tubidy

5. Euro 2012

6. Daily Post


8. ICC

9. Njenga Karume

10. Miguna Miguna

Credit -IT News Africa

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