Google Search
Photo Cred: Google

From belly fat to bitcoin, junk status and even questioning how to manage xenophobia. This is what South Africans searched for the most on Google in 2017.


What people, places, and things were trending around the globe this year? What was the top trending news moment of the last 12 months? Which TV shows trended to the top and and grabbed people’s attention?

Today, Google announced the results of its 2017 Year in Search, offering a unique perspective on the year’s major moments and top trends based on searches conducted in South Africa.

This year’s trending searches show growing interest in local celebrities and events, with seven of the top 10 trending search terms being local, in contrast to fewer than half last year. South Africans are also increasingly using search to find local businesses – the ‘near me’ search list shows what types of businesses South Africans look for in their neighbourhoods and highlights the importance of these (often small) businesses being online and findable.

Top trending South African searches

  • Dumi Masilela
  • Zimbabwe
  • Cyclone Dineo
  • Joe Mafela
  • Karabo Mokoena
  • Joost van der Westhuizen
  • Black Friday
  • Mayweather vs McGregor fight
  • Fast & Furious 8
  • Hurricane Irma

Top Trending Questions:

  • What is dineo?
  • What is bitcoin?
  • Who won the money fight?
  • What role can the private sector play in poverty alleviation?
  • How to lose belly fat?
  • How old is Simphiwe Ngema?
  • What is happening in Zimbabwe?
  • How to make slime?
  • What is junk status?
  • How to manage xenophobia?

Trending personalities

  • Dumi Masilela
  • Joe Mafela
  • Joost van der Westhuizen
  • Zodwa Wabantu
  • Mandla Hlatshwayo
  • Lundi Tyamara
  • Simphiwe Ngema
  • Grace Mugabe
  • Hugh Hefner
  • Chester Bennington

Top ‘near me’ searches

  • Pharmacy near me
  • Dentist near me
  • KFC near me
  • Jobs hiring near me
  • Hardware store near me
  • Gynaecologist near me
  • Printing shops near me
  • Steers near me
  • Sushi near me
  • Doctors near me

Top TV Shows

  • 13 reasons why
  • Games of Thrones
  • Isibaya
  • Uzalo
  • Big Brother Naija
  • American Gods
  • Idols SA
  • Sex in the City
  • Big Little Lies
  • Riverdale

Top searched recipes

  • Oxtail recipes
  • Sweet potato recipes
  • Beef stew recipes
  • Vegan recipes
  • Creamed spinach recipes
  • Halal recipes
  • Prawn recipes
  • Spaghetti recipes
  • Cauliflower recipes
  • Bread recipes

This information is gleaned from data collated by Google based on what South Africans have been searching for and asking Google this year. 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.

This is their video for the global “year in search 2017”:

To see more information about Google’s Year in Search across the globe click here. Live Google search trends data is available here.

Sources: Supplied
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About the Author

Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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