By 12 December 2012 | Categories: news


Tech giant Google has announced the local release of its Zeitgeist 2012 report, detailing the most popular and the fastest rising terms that South Africans typed into the search box of the company’s popular site during 2012.

Topping the list for overall trending South African searches during 2012, is free classifieds site, OLX, highlighting the rise of online buying and selling as a means of getting rid of those unused or unwanted items.

Celebs also prove to be popular

Beloved songstress Whitney Houston, who passed away in February of this year, snagged second place on the South African search list.

Whitney also claims the number one spot on the list of overall trending people in South Africa, followed closely by local athletics star Caster Semenya and newsmaking socialite, Khanyi Mbau. Caster Semenya landed top spot on the fastest trending sportsperson of the year podium, followed closely by swimming hero, Chad le Clos.

Coming in third on the overall trending list is Hurricane Sandy, which devastated large portions of the US Mid-Atlantic and East Coast, as well as the Caribbean during October. Dancing its way to fourth spot is the global pop culture phenomenon known as Gangnam style.

Olympic Games and tech provokes the web interest of locals

As with Twitter, the London 2012 Olympics proved to be popular with local users, taking fifth place in terms of the most popular search terms, but claiming gold on the trending events list.

In terms of tech trends, Apple’s iPad 3 (review) topped the list of most searched for gadgets, but only managed to come in tenth place in terms of the overall most popular search terms. Cupertino’s tablet snagged top spot ahead of the Samsung’s ultra popular Galaxy S3 (review, one of our Top 5 smartphones of 2012) and its predecessor, the Galaxy S2 (review).

South Africa overall trending: Gadgets & Phones

1. iPad 3
2. Samsung Galaxy S3
3. Samsung Galaxy S2
4. iPad mini
5. Nokia N9 (review)
6. iphone 4S (review)
7. Nokia Lumia
8. BlackBerry 9360 (review)
9. Galaxy S3
10. BlackBerry 9320 (review)

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 (review)            
9. Khanyi Mbau     
10. iPad 3

South Africa 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

South Africa overall trending: E-Commerce/Classifieds

1. OLX
2. Gumtree
3. Zando
4. Groupon
5. Take-a-lot

South Africa most searched game:

Diablo 3

South Africa top trending: TV Series

1. American Idol 2012
2. Terra Nova
3. Revenge
4. Alcatraz
5. X-factor
6. Revenge Season 2
7. Homeland
8. Celebrity Apprentice
9. Survivor Samoa
10. Masterchef South Africa

South Africa overall trending: Images

1. Lady Gaga
2. Funny Pictures
3. Nicki Minaj
4. Wedding Dresses
5. Happy Birthday
6. One Direction
7. Justin Bieber
8. Riaan Cruywagen
9. Love
10. Selena Gomez

South Africa Top Trending: Vehicles

1. Toyota 86
2. Toyota Etios
3. Kia rio
4. Kia Optima
5. Nissan Juke
6. Golf 7 GTI
7. Hyundai
8. Mercedes-Benz
9. Toyota 86 Specs
10. New Audi A3
Check out the 2012 Google Zeitgeist info (video posted below) for the entire globe on Google's website.  
In related news, Google also recently released the latest Android mobile operating system (OS) usage information, shedding light on which version of the popular platform is used most on user’s smartphones and tablets


Magazine Online is South Africa's leading magazine for tech product reviews, tech news, videos, tech specs and gadgets.
Start reading now >
Download latest issue

Have Your Say

What new tech or developments are you most anticipating this year?
New smartphone announcements (14 votes)
Technological breakthroughs (16 votes)
Launch of new consoles, or notebooks (9 votes)
Innovative Artificial Intelligence solutions (10 votes)
Biotechnology or medical advancements (16 votes)
Better business applications (53 votes)