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Top Google search terms by African country, 2011

December 16, 2011  »  WebOne Comment

Intrigued by BizTechAfrica’s post “What Zimbabweans search for online,” we decided to take examine 2011’s Google search trends for all sub-Saharan African nations with available data (there are 37 of them). Additionally, Google Zeitgeist includes trends from Egypt, Kenya, and South Africa.

Google Insights for Search lists the top 10 search terms in addition to top 10 rising searches over a given time period for Web, Image, News, and Product searches. Assuming Google is used by the typical African web user, we can get a feel for the web culture of a given nation. For example, are searches targeted or are they generic? Are they more tech-inclined or focused on news or celebrity? How popular is Facebook or YouTube?

In general, the insights are not all that surprising. Searchers are most likely to search for their country. At the same time, nationalism seems to be giving way to the phenomenon that is Facebook. Across 15 of the 37 nations, searchers are more likely to Google “facebook” than any other term. Also popular are web searches for “download,” “telecharger,” and “yahoo”. The high rank of “download” is interesting considering the general lack of sufficient bandwidth across the continent.

“Youtube” is a top web search term in Angola, Gabon, Madagascar, Mauritania, Mauritius, Senegal, and South Africa. Out of the 37 nations with sufficient search data, only two – Benin and Burkina Faso – do not have “youtube” in the top 3 web search positions. However, the term still ranks fourth and fifth most popular, respectively. Again, interesting, considering many areas like Mauritania do not yet have the bandwidth needed to successfully stream online videos en masse.

Also interesting is the prevalence of searches to translate content in Francophone nations like Senegal, Togo, Cote d’Ivoire, Burundi. Such a trend suggests the need for more local content in these nations.

Top rising search terms (those expressing high levels of growth compared with 2010) varied slightly, but often centered on Facebook and Libya. Additionally, the website WAPTrick often appeared in the list – a sign that most Googlers in Africa are using mobile devices. Trends from the largest Google markets – Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa – are not too different from 2010.

Image searches for a user’s home country, like web searches, take the top spot. Also high in the mix are “women” and “love”. In fact, “love” is an extremely popular image search term in Botswana, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Somalia, and Tanzania. Clearly, most Google searchers in Africa are male, but more interesting is how searchers are looking for images of love rather than articles about love.

Angola

Top: angola, facebook, download, 3hg, jogos, youtube

Rising: libia, facebook.com, www.waptrick.com

Images: angola, imagens, mulheres, luanda, imagem, messi

Benin

Top: benin, telecharger, proxy, facebook, france, yahoo

Rising: google chrome, idm, www.facebook.com

Images: logo, image, benin, photo, images, naruto

Botswana

Top: botswana, facebook, yahoo, news, mail, lyrics

Rising: big brother amplified, boys over flowers, gaddafi, psle results 2011

Images: botswana, images, africa, women, love, rihanna, car

Burkina Faso

Top: burkina, faso, yahoo, burkina faso, telecharger, facebook

Rising: kadhafi, libye, www.concours.gov.bf

Images: burkina, image, burkina faso, photo

Burundi

Top: burundi, facebook, yahoo, news

Rising: traduction, yahoo.fr

Images: burundi

Cameroon

Top: cameroun, facebook, yahoo, telecharger, google

Rising: wapdam, waptrick

Images: cameroun, naruto, rihanna, photo

Congo

Top: facebook, congo, yahoo, telecharger, mail

Rising: congo brazzaville, www.facebook.com, youtube

Cote d’Ivoire

Top: telecharger, facebook, abidjan.net, yahoo, jeux

Rising: facebook.com, chat.nrj.fr, google traduction

Images: image, photo, logo, homme, nokia

Eritrea

Top: facebook, news, eritrea, arsenal

Rising: libya, www.eurosport.com

Images: love

Ethiopia

Top: facebook, ethiopia, yahoo, download, news

Rising: www.nae.gov.et, libya, facebooklogin, wapdam

Images: ethiopian, pictures, love

Gabon

Top: gabon, facebook, yahoo, telecharger, youtube

Rising: www.waptrick.com, opera mini

Images: image, gabon, naruto, rihanna

Gambia

Top: facebook, gambia, download, news

Rising: facebooklogin, libya, vybz kartel, waptrick

Images:

Ghana

Top: ghana, download, facebook, yahoo

Rising: facebooklogin, lovingyou, airtel, twitter

Images: ghana, pictures, logo, love

Guinea

Top: facebook, guinee, yahoo

Rising: facebook, skype, campus france, hotmail

Kenya

Top: kenya, facebook, download, yahoo

Rising: muliro gardens, soy tu duena, airtel, fb

Images: kenya, pictures, images, girls, love

Lesotho

Top: lesotho, facebook, gmail, yahoo, news

Rising: facebooklogin, mxit, hotmail

Madagascar

Top: facebook, madagascar, yahoo, mail, youtube

Rising: web2sms airtel, airtel, facebook connexion

Images: madagascar, photo, logo, image, fille

Malawi

Top: facebook, malawi, yahoo, nyasatimes

Rising: facebooklogin, fb, malawi voice, opera

Images: pictures, malawi, girls

Mali

Top: mali, facebook, telecharger, yahoo

Rising: kadhafi, libye, le bon coin

Images: mali, rihanna, image, lil wayne

Mauritania

Top: facebook, youtube, telecharger, google

Rising: allocine, mappy, pages jaunes

Images: messi, mauritanie, photo, ronaldo

Mauritius

Top: facebook, mauritius, download, youtube, games

Rising: games, liverpool, livescore, mcb

Images: mauritius, wallpaper, pictures, logo, girl

Mozambique

Top: facebook, download, mocambique

Rising: kadhafi, libia, rebelde, caras e bocas

Images: imagens, nokia, mulheres, mocambique, toyota

Namibia

Top: facebook, namibia, news, yahoo

Rising: libya, log in facebook, rugby world cup

Images: pictures, namibia, love

Niger

Top: niger, facebook, yahoo, telecharger

Rising: facebook.com, photo, waptrick.com

Images: niger, image, photo, messi

Nigeria

Top: nigeria, facebook, news, yahoo

Rising: facebooklogin, 2go, airtel

Images: pictures, nigeria, logo, images, man

Rwanda

Top: rwanda, download, facebook, kigali, google

Rising: igitondo.com, umuseke, jobs in rwanda

Images: rwanda, kagame, igituba, rihanna

Senegal

Top: facebook, senegal, telecharger, youtube

Rising: facedakar, pages jaunes, translate

Images: senegal, photo, image, modou lo

Sierra Leone

Top: sierra leone, download, facebook, yahoo

Rising: www.facebook.com, bbc

Somalia

Top: download, facebook, somali, google

Rising: download manager, hadhwanaag, www.facebook.com

Images: somali, somaliland, somalia, love

South Africa

Top: facebook, how to, facebook login, gmail, youtube

Rising: whatsap, fnb online, www.facebook.com, blackberry, mxit

Images: pictures, girls, south africa, hot

Sudan

Top: facebook, photos, download

Rising: tubidy, nimbuzz, opera

Images: photos, girls, sudan, movies

Swaziland

Top: swaziland, facebook, south africa, download, how to

Rising: youtube, games, www.facebook.com

Tanzania

Top: tanzania, facebook, download, yahoo

Rising: loliondo, osama

Images: tanzania, pictures, picha, love

Togo

Top: togo, telecharger, facebook, yahoo, google

Rising: gbagbo, google traduction, translate

Images: togo, image, logo

Uganda

Top: uganda, facebook, download, yahoo

Rising: libya news, gaddafi, facebooklogin

Images: uganda, pictures, images, logo, black

Zambia

Top: zambia, facebook, yahoo, news

Rising: kachepa, tumfweko, waptrick.com, facebooklogin

Images: pictures, zambia, images, wallpaper, rihanna

Zimbabwe

Top: facebook, zimbabwe, news

Rising: gaddafi, mujuru, opera mini, facebooklogin, mxit

Images: pictures, zimbabwe, images, facebook, girls