Ok Google, what did South Africa search for this year?

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Google has revealed the terms South Africans couldn’t resist typing into the search engine this year and among the newsmakers there are a few things that we’ll simply describe as.., odd.

While it may have been 128 days since the lights went off for four hours at a time, loadshedding was searched enough times to remain firmly at the number one spot for overall searches in South Africa this year.

Google - Year End Zeitgeist 2015 overall searches (1)

Up second is musician August Alsina and in third place is xenophobia following wide spread violence that occurred against foreigners earlier this year.

Top Overall Search South Africa

  1. Loadshedding

  2. August Alsina

  3. Xenophobia

  4. Cricket World Cup

  5. Lamar Odom

The top trending South African this year was the late Nkululeko Habedi, also known as Flabba who was murdered by his girlfriend at the time Sindisiwe Manqele.Google - Year End Zeitgeist 2015 trending South African

The second most searched for South African was the late Simba Mhere while Cassper Nyovest, who filled up the Ticketpro Dome takes third place.

Top Trending South African

  1. Flabba

  2. Simba Mhere

  3. Cassper Nyovest

  4. Pastor Zondo

  5. Collins Chabane

The top two tech related searches for the year were both populated by new releases, namely Windows 10 and Whatsapp Web while Samsung Galaxy S6 and the iPhone 6S follow closely behind at positions three and four respectively.

Top Tech searches

  1. Windows 10

  2. Whatsapp  Web

  3. Samsung Galaxy S6

  4. iPhones 6S

  5. Fifa 16

Late minister Collins Chabane who passed away in March was the most searched for politician with former national police commissioner Jackie Selebi coming in second. Third place is occupied by DA leader Mmusi Maimane.

Then things get, weird.

South Africans are either learning to fish, stream games to Twitch or making models of objects given that the top “how to” search was “how to cast”. Searches for how to smoke, how to paint and how to quickscope can also be found in the top ten.

The top four “What Is” searches are understandable, to a point. South African’s wanted to understand what xenophobia, ebola, occupation and ISIS where this year and strangely, shrub.

Yes what must be a large portion of South Africa’s internet users found out that a shrub is “a woody plant which is smaller than a tree and has several main stems arising at or near the ground” this year.

South Africans did search for current affairs but local events account for four spots out of the 10 most searched for current affairs topics while events such as the Charlie Hebdo attacks, the earthquake in Nepal and ISIS account for the international events South Africans looked for.

A good year for Google then, though perhaps not so much for non-smokers and fish.

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.