Picture: AP Photo/Virginia Mayo, File
JOHANNESBURG - Zimbabwe’s military takeover, the Rugby World Cup 2023 announcement, and Skolopad all trended this week, alongside sporting fixtures, Idols, and a host of celebrities accused of sexual harassment.

Dominating searches for the week was Zimbabwe, with the query “Zimbabwe Latest News” receiving more than 500 000 searches on Tuesday. Even as the situation around the apparent coup became clearer a day later, “News24 Zimbabwe” (20 000+ searches) was South Africa’s most searched for term, alongside “Rugby World Cup 2023” (20 000+ searches).

Ultimately, South Africa would lose out to France in its bid to host Rugby’s premier event, signaling the latest in a series of sporting disappointments to trend during the week.

On Friday, “Bafana Bafana vs Senegal” saw more than 50 000+ searches. In the event, South Africa’s football stars would lose 2-1, missing out on a second consecutive FIFA World Cup in the process.

On Saturday meanwhile “SA Vs Ireland” (20 000+ searches) top trended, while “Springboks” (10 000+ searches) came in third, with only the Lotto results (10 000+ searches) separating the two. Those searchers hoping for good news would’ve been disappointed to see that South Africa suffered a record loss to Ireland, going down 38-3.

The one bit of good sporting news for the week came in the shape of Brandon Grace, who on Sunday became the first South African in a decade to win the Nedbank Golf Challenge at Sun City. Not that it will have bothered the golfer, but on the day Idols contender Mthokozisi Ndaba beat him in the search stakes, claiming 5 000+ searches, compared with 2 000+ for Grace.

Throughout the week, accusations of sexual harassment continued to be leveled against Hollywood A-listers, with Ed Westwick (2 000+ searches), Louis CK (5 000+ searches), and Brett Ratner (2000+ searches) all appearing among the top searches for the week.

On a less serious note, “Skolopad” (20 000+ searches) was the second most searched for term on Friday, following her decision to appear at the 2017 Feather Awards in a Lady Gaga-inspired boerewors dress.

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.