Kenya’s Top Searches on Google in 2014 Ebola, World Cup among Trending Searches

Google  on Tuesday released the annual Year in Search 2014, which highlights unique searches that grabbed attention of Kenyans throughout the year.

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Every year, Google reflects on the moments that made the world laugh, smile or kept people gripped to their screens through the annual Zeitgeist (Year in Search).

Ebola, was top in the trending symptoms’ category globally and in Kenya.

Kenyans’ love for football remained steadfast with the 2014 World Cup leading the pack in the year’s general trending searches. The World Cup took center stage in this year’s sports scene making it also the top search globally.

The second leading trending search in 2014 was the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS), a Government institution that replaced the Joint Admission Board (JAB). Its mandate is to process admission of Government sponsored students to universities and colleges, and was probably a key interest for secondary school students who wanted to know which universities they had been admitted to. Other leading search items were Vera Sidika, Otieno Kajwang’, Ebola, Angel Di Maria, Myles Munroe, Corazon Indomable on Citizen TV, Robin Williams and Juan Mata.

Besides featuring in the general searches, socialite Vera Sidika was the top trending person in 2014. The late Otieno Kajwang’, Homa Bay County Senator came in second following his death in November 2014. Angel Di Maria, an Argentine footballer who plays for Manchester United came third, followed by Dr. Myles Munroe, an author and evangelist who died in a plane crash in November. Robin Williams, an American actor who died in August and Juan Mata, a Spanish footballer were on the trending list of people.

Others in this category are:  Betty Bayo, gospel Artist; Joan Rivers, deceased American actress; Arturo Vidal, a Chilean midfielder who plays for Juventus and Pastor Kanyari of Salvation Healing Ministry who was featured in KTN’s Makri ya Injili investigative feature for faking miracles.

Kenya, like the rest of the world did not escape the meme craze that swirled the internet. Kermit memes took the first position in trending memes even as Kenyans demonstrated their creativity by creating memes about Joseph Ole Lenku, former Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government. Gym memes, World Cup Memes, Harry Potter Memes, IB Memes, Coding Memes and Funny Memes trended this year.

On top searches, e-classifieds site, OLX was the most searched in 2014, a probable signal that Kenya is embracing e-commerce in pace with the rest of the world. English Premier League (EPL) was the second searched in this category. This was followed by Higher Education Loans Board (HELB), Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) and Government Human Resource Information System (GHRIS), demonstrating that citizens are embracing e-government services.

Kenyans seem to be looking for locations and places on Google Maps with many looking for travel services from national carrier, Kenya Airways, which was also on the list. Google Translate, Bible and Kenyatta University were also on this list.

Most of the trending “what is” searches seem to have been driven by student searches as they were very academic. What is transcoding? was top. This is the ability to adapt digital files so that content can be viewed on different playback devices. What is endometriosis, a hormonal and immune system disease in which cells similar to that which line the uterus (endometrium) grow outside the uterine cavity, was number two.People also went online to search about ‘what is email.’ Other trending queries were: what is candling, what is witchcraft, what is interview, what constipation is, what B2B (Business-to-business) is, what is Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) and what is glaucoma.

The ‘how to” trending searches had ‘how to survive’ as number one in this category. How to network, how to date, how to CPR (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation), how to breastfeed, how to lie, how to model, how to write, how to photoshop and how to dunk.

For the first time, the lists for the trending searches in the three cities of Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu have been released. Based on the results, it is evident that the cities’ residents have different interests.

Mombasa residents’ interest was on, a site  that talks about wealth anddevelopment, Iphone 6, Technical University of Mombasa, World Cup 2014, Pwani University, CoopNet (Cooperative Networking),  Qatar Airways Careers, Mombasa OLX, Dj Bobo and Zumba for beginners.

In Kisumu, Maseno University took the first position in trending searches. The city also had the highest number of searches related to education with University of Nairobi, Teachers Service Commission (TSC), Kenya National Examinations Council Results and Mount Kenya University. Other searches were OCLC Classify, Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), EPL table, Google Translate and Ali Kiba, a Tanzanian musician.

Interestly, searches for Nairobi were same as the general trending searches, a confirmation that a large number of internet users come from Nairobi and this determines the general searches in Kenya.


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