Google’s top SA searches of 2012

Google recently announced its annual Zeitgeist, a look at 2012 through the collective eyes of the world on the web. Google Zeitgeist offers a perspective on this year’s major events and hottest trends based on searches conducted in South Africa.

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.

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 news-making social celebrity, Khanyi Mbau.

Gangnam Style has captured the attention of the planet and has worked its way into pop culture history; it 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 sports-person 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 to’s”.

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.

iPad with retina display
iPad with retina display

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: PEOPLE

  1. whitney houston
  2. caster semenya
  3. khanyi mbau
  4. chad le clos
  5. usain bolt
  6. lance armstrong
  7. felix baumgartner
  8. brown dash
  9. april jones
  10. michael clarke duncan

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

South Africa Overall Trending: SPORTS EVENTS

  1. olympics 2012
  2. euro 2012
  3. paralymics 2012
  4. wimbledon 2012
  5. cricket live scores
  6. fifa 13
  7. dakar 2012
  8. durban july 2012
  9. super rugby 2012
  10. uefa euro 2012

South Africa Most popular SA CELEBS

  1. Khanyi Mbau
  2. Mgqumeni
  3. Jub Jub
  4. Zahara
  5. Khaya Mthethwa

South Africa Overall Trending: EVENTS

  1. hurricane sandy
  2. euro 2012
  3. olympics 2012
  4. velvet sky
  5. whitney houston funeral
  6. mothers day 2012
  7. paralympics 2012
  8. american idol 2012
  9. wimbledon 2012
  10. linkin park

South Africa Overall Most Searched: NEWS SITES

  1. news24
  2. beeld
  3. sowetan
  4. iol
  5. die burger
  6. daily mail
  7. soccer laduma
  8. volksblad
  9. mail and guardian
  10. city press

South Africa Overall Trending: HOW TO…

  1. how to kiss
  2. how to draw
  3. how to love
  4. how to study
  5. how to meditate
  6. how to hack
  7. how to pray
  8. how to crochet
  9. how to knit
  10. how to flirt

South Africa Overall Trending: WHAT IS…?

  1. what is love
  2. what is poverty
  3. what is illuminati
  4. what is cancer
  5. what is hiv
  6. what is technology
  7. what is pollution
  8. what is tourism
  9. what is stress
  10. what is heritage

South Africa Overall Trending: WHAT IS…? – HEALTH

  1. what is cancer
  2. what is hiv
  3. what is stress
  4. what is aids
  5. what is tb
  6. what is diabetes
  7. what is obesity
  8. what is lupus
  9. what is cholera
  10. what is ovulation

South Africa Top Trending: VEHICLES

  1. Toyota 86
  2. Toyota Etios
  3. Kia rio
  4. Kia Optima
  5. Nissan Juke
  6. Golf7 GTI
  7. Hyundai
  8. Mercedes Benz
  9. Toyota 86 Specs
  10. New Audi A3

South Africa Overall Trending: E-COMMERCE/CLASSIFIEDS

  1. OLX
  2. Gumtree
  3. Zando
  4. Groupon
  5. Takealot

South Africa Overall Most Searched: Maps Locations

  1. riversands farm stall
  2. gold reef city theme park
  3. mall
  4. coricraft
  5. hotels

South Africa Most popular: SA BANKS

  1. FNB
  2. ABSA
  3. Standard Bank
  4. Nedbank
  5. Capitec

South Africa Top Trending: TV SERIES

  1. American Idol 2012
  2. Terra Nova
  3. Revenge
  4. Alcatraz
  5. X factor
  6. Revenge Season 2
  7. Homeland
  8. Celebrity Apprentice
  9. Survivor Samoa
  10. Masterchef South Africa

South Africa Overall Trending: IMAGES

  1. Lady Gaga
  2. Funny Pictures
  3. Nicki Minaj
  4. Wedding Dresses
  5. Happy Birthday
  6. One Direction
  7. Justin Bieber
  8. Riaan Cruywagen
  9. Love
  10. Selena Gomez

South Africa Most searched: GAME

diablo 3

South Africa Most searched: INTERNATIONAL SPORT

Euro 2012

South Africa Most searched: INTERNATIONAL MUSICIAN

Whitney Houston

South Africa Most searched:  AIRLINE

Velvet Sky

South Africa Most searched: BABY

Blue Ivy (JZ and Beyonce’s baby)

South Africa Overall Trending: SA MUSICIANS/GROUPS


South Africa Overall Trending: RELIGION


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Google’s top SA searches of 2012