Google Zeitgeist top 2012 searches

2012-12-12 09:00
Google has jumped into the debate over a UN telecom gathering set to review regulations affecting the internet. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Google has jumped into the debate over a UN telecom gathering set to review regulations affecting the internet. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Cape Town - Google's annual Zeigeist list of the top searches for 2012 is out and South Africans have been searching on the internet giant for everything from online shopping to information following the tragic death of Whitney Houston.

Google results from its Zeitgeist showed that South Africans took an international interest in Superstorm Sandy that hit the East coast of the US as well as the massive hit, Gangam Style.

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

In terms of people searches, South Africa's golden swimmer, Olympic winner Chad le Clos as well as Jamaica's sprint sensation Usain Bolt also featured strongly.

Daredevil skydiver Felix Baumgartner came in at 7, and South Africans were interested in news on disgraced former Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong.

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

Technology searches highlighted ICT, and even though iPad searches featured strongly in the gadget trends, the Zeitgeist showed South Africans were keen to learn about Android, Google's mobile operating system, as well as photo sharing app Instagram, recently acquired by Facebook for $1bn.

South Africa Overall Trending: What is…? - technology
1.    what is ict
2.    what is android
3.    what is internet
4.    what is facebook
5.    what is instagram
6.    what is gis
7.    what is wifi
8.    what is url
9.    what is spam
10.  what is 3g

In terms of gadgets, the local launch of the third generation iPad drew the most searches, but it was closely followed by the Samsung Galaxy S III, as well as multiple searches for Galaxy devices in the top 10.

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

In terms of health, South Africans in 2012 were most interested in cancer and HIV, though lifestyle conditions like stress and obesity also featured.

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

The Goolge Zeitgeist gives a glimpse into what internet users are thinking, based on their search requests. South Africans in 2012 were curious about a variety of topics, but chief among them was romance, based on the How To list:

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

To see more information about Google Zeitgeist across the globe, use interactive data visualisations, visit

Read more on:    google  |  internet

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