This is what South Africans searched for on Google this week:
- Voter registration trended on Google search ahead of the voter registration cut-off date set by the IEC this past weekend. News reports announced that the IEC had a target of registering one million more people before the deadline. “Register to vote 2019” was amongst the top performing searches, generating more than 50 000 queries on Friday.
- “James Ingram” also generated more than 50 000 search queries by Wednesday afternoon, setting off related Google searches for “James Ingram Songs” and “James Ingram cause of death”. The news of R&B superstar James Ingram’s death at the age of 66 emerged on Wednesday morning when his close friend, Debbie Allen, confirmed the passing of the How do you keep the music playing and Just once crooner.
- In other trending searches this week, the Please Call Me Movement, in support of Nkosana Makate – a former Vodacom employee who claims to have invented the network’s call-back service, was thrust into the spotlight. Makate supporters organised a protest outside of Vodacom’s offices in Midrand, on Thursday, demanding that the telco pay Makate for his alleged invention. “Nkosana Makate” generated more than 5 000 search queries on Thursday morning.
- Empire star, Jussie Smollet, trended on Tuesday as news broke that he had been injured and hospitalised in the aftermath of an allegedly racist and homophobic attack. While the incident solicited outrage and shock from Hollywood to Washington, “Jussie Smollet” generated more than 20 000 Google search queries on Tuesday in South Africa.
- Dudu Miyeni was thrown into the spotlight on Monday as a photo depicting the SAA chairperson in a group photo with former president Jacob Zuma and Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson made the rounds on social media. “Dudu Miyeni” generated more than 20 000 searches on Monday as netizens weighed in on the significance of the viral photo.
- South easterly winds fanned wild fires in Cape Town last weekend, with the earliest report coming in on Friday of a wild fire along the R27 route in the Western Cape. By Saturday evening another fire was raging at Van Der Stel Pass causing heavy smoke in the Cape Town CBD. Signal Hill was also set ablaze on Sunday afternoon, where two helicopters and a spotter plane were deployed to assist firefighters. “Cape Town fire” generated more than 10 000 search queries on Saturday and more than 20 000 on Sunday.
Search trends information is gleaned from data collated by Google based on what South Africans have been searching for and asking Google. 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. Live Google search trends data is available at https://www.google.co.za/trends/hottrends#pn=p40