Top local Google searches for 2018 revealed

Read time 2min 50sec

Every year, Internet search giant Google looks back at the year and collates what topics each region was most interested in, giving interesting insights into what was top of mind for people during the year.

Google says these results offer a unique perspective on the year's major moments and top trends based on searches conducted in SA.

"This year's trending searches show South Africans' keen interest in local celebrities, news and events, with six of the top 10 trending search terms being local. The top personalities list also reflects this: three of the top 10 are politicians, two are sports stars, and the other five are related to current affairs and news events," Google says in a statement.

This year, in SA, local users were the most interested in World Cup fixtures, followed by load shedding schedules and the recent Global Citizen concert, which brought international popstar Beyonc'e out to the country.

The next two most searched for topics were politics-based, with the country's former president Jacob Zuma still very much of interest, followed by the late Winnie Mandela.

Local rapper HHP, who recently died, was also in the top 10 searches for 2018, followed by Listeriosis, a bacteria disease outbreak that affected ready-to-eat processed meat. Black Panther, Meghan Markle, and Mac Miller rounded off the last of the top 10 searches.

Google also released its top 10 questions that were asked by South Africans on its service this year. The main questions were:

"How did Avicii die?"
"How old is Pharrell Williams?"
"What is Listeriosis?"
"What is black data?"
"How old is Prince Harry?"
"How much are Global Citizen tickets?"
"How to get pregnant?"
"What time is the royal wedding?"
"What happened to HHP?"
"How old is Meghan Markle?"

In Google Search, there is an option to search for things 'near me', which will render results that include distances to local establishments. The most searched for term under this feature was 'jobs near me', followed by 'Nando's near me', 'Dischem near me', and 'McDonalds near me'.

The rest of the top 'near me' searches were also about local businesses, including: guest houses, Postnet, Steers, Spar, Debonairs, and Spur.

This year, Google also included a list of the top 10 women searched on Google in SA. The most searched for woman was Winnie Mandela, anti-apartheid activist and politician, and ex-wife of former president Nelson Mandela, who died in April of this year.

The second most searched for woman was Meghan Markle, the American actress who married Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, in May. Next in line was local TV personality Sbahle Mpisane, then Aretha Franklin who died in August, and international socialite Khloe Kardashian.

Others on the list included South African actress Sophie Ndaba; Cheryl Zondi, who recently testified against Nigerian pastor Timothy Omotoso; American singer Demi Lovato; Lerato Sengadi, who was the wife of the late HHP; and Siam Lee, a young woman who was brutally murdered in KwaZulu-Natal.

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