The Guptas made the list and so did J-Z – this is what South Africans Googled this month

By Litaletu Zidepa
31 March 2016

The Guptas and Jacob Zuma dominated headlines this month so it’s no surprise they dominated local Google searches too. Interestingly though, it was “Caroline Herschel” that came out as March’s most-searched term.

The German astronomer topped the charts thanks to a Google Doodle to celebrate her birthday on March 16.

The next most searched term was “International Women’s Day” or related phrases, thanks to the Google doodle to mark the occasion on March 8.

This data was collected by the Google Trends information, which is a collection of what South Africans have been searching over March. Search terms that are “trending” on a common theme are grouped together into the trend clusters.

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.

The terror attack in Brussels on 22 March generated a cluster of 17 search terms, with South Africans searching for “Brussels”, “Brussels bombing”, “Brussels airport bomb”, “where is Brussels”, “ISIS” and “Brussels explosion”.

Read more: Harrowing footage shows terrified civilians fleeing Brussels airport after explosions

Politics remained top of mind, with a search cluster related to Deputy Minister Mcebisi Jonas, the Guptas and President Zuma featuring 13 search terms, including “Gupta”, “Mcebisi Jonas”, “Jacob Zuma”, “ANC”, “Barbara Hogan”, and “Duduzane Zuma”.

Read more: This is what it’s like to have lunch at Nkandla

The Holi Festival, Koyo Bala, who passed away from cancer earlier in the month, and Miss South Africa also received a lot of attention from local searchers.

Read more: Meet our new Miss South Africa: Ntandoyenkosi Kunene

South Africans love their sport so it comes as no surprise that “Orlando Pirates”, “Nedbank Cup”, “Chiefs vs Pirates”, “Pirates vs Chiefs”, “Soweto Derby”, “Orlando Pirates vs Kaizer Chiefs” and “Pirates” featured on the list.

“Liverpool”, “Liverpool vs Man United”, “Europa League”, “Man Utd”, “Arsenal vs Barcelona”, “Kaizer Chiefs vs Jomo Cosmos”, “Cricket World Cup 2016”, and “Chelsea” were amongst other terms searched by sports lovers.

Tennis contenders Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova popped up, likely thanks to Maria’s doping scandal.

The murder of Cape Town teen Franziska Blöchliger captured many South African hearts as it also merited its own Google search cluster.

Read more: Horrific details emerge in Tokai murder case

Kim Kardashian and St Patrick’s Day also made the list.

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