The top Google searches in South Africa over the last 15 years

google searches south africa

To celebrate the 15th anniversary of Google Trends, Google has released the top searches on the search engine in South Africa over the past 15 years.

The list includes the top questions, current affairs searches, government services, lyrics, food, and more.

And while the list contains data over the past 15 years, many searches seem relatively current.

This is likely due to enduring “evergreen” searches, that remain relevant for years, as well as increased internet availability for South Africans in recent years.

Fewer South Africans likely had access to Google Search 15 years ago versus today, so it makes sense that a lot of search data would relate to the past few years.

Top Google searches in South Africa over last 15 years

So what did Google’s trends reveal?

When it came to top questions searched by locals, they ranged from money and weight advice to romance questions.

You can see a list of the top search questions over the last 15 years in South Africa below: 

  1. Where to stay?
  2. How to make money fast?
  3. How to make love?
  4. What is love?
  5. What is my IP?
  6. How to make pancakes?
  7. How to download from Youtube?
  8. How to kiss?
  9. How to lose weight?
  10. How to lose belly fat?

When it comes to the top searches for public figures in South Africa, most related to musicians, celebrities, and politicians.

These were the top searched South Africans over the last 15 years: 

  1. Cassper Nyovest
  2. Cyril Ramaphosa
  3. Julius Malema
  4. Jacob Zuma
  5. Bonang Matheba
  6. Zodwa Wabantu
  7. Black Coffee
  8. Babes Wodumo
  9. Senzo Meyiwa
  10. Pearl Thusi

Load shedding and coronavirus among top local searches

When it comes to current affairs, results were a bit more varied. However, the top search for this category was “load shedding”.

One reflection of the impact of the pandemic is the fact that “coronavirus South Africa” was the second biggest search in this category — despite the first case of the virus only being reported in South Africa in March 2020.

The term’s popularity however could be due to its use when keeping track of COVID-19 cases in South Africa. Googling this term gives users access to a summary of total cases over time.

You can see a summary of the top current affairs searches from the last 15 years below: 

  1. Load shedding
  2. Coronavirus South Africa
  3. National treasury
  4. Election Results
  5. Heritage Day
  6. Boko Haram
  7. Hoërskool Driehoek
  8. Curfew South Africa
  9. Ramaphosa’s Wife
  10. Chesterville Durban

You can also explore trends per year on the platform, thanks to the Year in Search tool.

The platform also tracks daily search trends for South Africa.

Feature image: PhotoMIX Company/Pexels

Read more: Google Photos unlimited free storage comes to an end: What to know about the new quota

Megan Ellis


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