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After a couple of weeks of uncertainty, followed by jubilation, South Africans this week saw their government get back to work. On Friday, president Cyril Ramaphosa delivered his maiden State of the Nation Address, with finance minister Malusi Gigaba delivering his budget a few days later. While both addresses saw serious search interest on Google, South Africans had enough spare time to find out about a fake celebrity death rumour.
Just a day after being voted in as South Africa’s fifth democratic president, Cyril Ramaphosa delivered his first State of the Nation Address. In the aftermath of the speech, the mood was largely optimistic. When it came to search trends, “SONA 2018” saw more than 100 000 searches.
Interestingly, it was outperformed by the budget speech, which saw more than 200 000 searches on Wednesday in addition to the 50 000+ searches it received on Tuesday. Then again, the fact that this was Minister Gigaba’s first budget speech since the axing of Pravin Gordhan in 2018, coupled with the events of the past two weeks, meant that interest in the speech was always going to be high.
Perhaps the least expected trending term for the week, however, was “Sylvester Stallone”, which saw more than 200 000 searches on Monday. The spike in interest came following rumours that the veteran actor had died. Stallone eventually put the rumours to rest by confirming that he was very much still alive.
Other terms which trended during the week included “Chelsea vs Barcelona” (50 000+ searches), “Black Panther” (50 000+ searches), “Manchester United” (20 000+ searches), and “Billy Graham” (20 000+ searches).
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. Google trends data is updated hourly and is available on https://www.google.co.za/trends.
Search trends in South Africa tend to be news and sports-driven. People search for things they hear or see on the news, and sports search terms trend several times a week, on average, every week.