The top searches on Google in South Africa shows deepening interest in local news and places, writes BRYAN TURNER.
South Africans are searching more locally now than in previous years, according to Google’s Year In Search analysis, which offers a snapshot of the most popular searches of the year.
It shows that, for 2017, the first seven of the Top 10 Trending Searched Personalities in this country were South African, and six out of the Top 10 Trending Search Terms were directly related to South Africa.
“This is really telling of the society, not just that more people are coming online, but also that South Africans are genuinely interested in South Africa and the surrounds,” says Mich Atagana, head of communications and public affairs for South Africa at Google.
Dumi Masilela, an actor from the South African TV show Rhythm City, topped the list of searches after he was killed in an attempted hijacking in August this year. Atagana stressed that Google searches might be becoming more relevant due to more South Africans becoming connected and searching for answers to questions arising from daily situations.
“This year I thought it was very telling of South African society to see a question like ‘What is junk status?’.”
Google’s Year In Search launch event was designed as a museum of searches this year, with various sections split up into visual and interactive categories, auch as portraits of trending personalities, and recipe cards for trending recipes. In the recipe section, the number 1 Trending Searched Recipe was Oxtail, but holds a Top Trending result only in South Africa.
This year Google introduced Top Trending ‘Near Me’, which reveals how people search for places of interest closest to them, using location services within a phone or browser. Only three positions were held by restaurants or food outlets: KFC, Steers and Sushi. The topic winner here was healthcare services, which held four positions in the top 10: Pharmacy, Dentist, Gynaecologist and Doctor.
Atagana said that it was interesting to see that serious questions were brought up in the trending question section, with “What role can the private sector play in poverty alleviation?” sitting at 4th place. However, this may have related to it being a school assignment in the Western Cape. Burning topics like Hurricane Dineo and Bitcoin topped the list of questions.
There were some surprises about some personalities not making the top 10 list, such as Donald Trump and the Gupta Family.
“One of my biggest surprises was that there are no Gupta mentions on any of the lists.” said Atagana. “Trump didn’t make our people list either, when we thought he would.”
In the 2016 Year In Search results, Donald Trump ranked 4th in overall trending searches and the Gutpa family ranked 3rd in trending South African politicians and prominent figures.
Top Trending Search Terms in South Africa
1) Pharmacy near me
2) Dentist near me
3) KFC near me
4) Jobs hiring near me
5) Hardware store near me
6) Gynecologist near me
7) Printing shops near me
8) Steers near me
9) Sushi near me
10) Doctors near me
1) Dumi Masilela
2) Joe Mafela
3) Joost van der Westhuizen
4) Zodwa Wabantu
5) Mandla Hlatshwayo
6) Lundi Tyamara
7) Simphiwe Ngema
8) Grace Mugabe
9) Hugh Hefner
10) Chester Bennington
1) What is dineo?
2) What is bitcoin?
3) Who won the money fight?
4) What role can the private sector play in poverty alleviation?
5) How to lose belly fat?
6) How old is Simphiwe Ngema?
7) What is happening in Zimbabwe?
8) How to make slime?
9) What is junk status?
10) How to manage xenophobia?
1) Oxtail recipes
2) Sweet potato recipes
3) Beef stew recipes
4) Vegan recipes
5) Creamed spinach recipes
6) Halal recipes
7) Prawn recipes
8) Spaghetti recipes
9) Cauliflower recipes
10) Bread recipes
1) Dumi Masilela
3) Cyclone Dineo
4) Joe Mafela
5) Karabo Mokoena
6) Joost van der Westhuizen
7) Black Friday
8) Mayweather vs McGregor Fight
9) Fast and Furious 8
10) Hurricane Irma
1) 13 Reasons Why
2) Game of Thrones
5) Big Brother Naija
6) American Gods
7) Idols SA
8) Sex in the City
9) Big Little Lies
Get your passwords in shape
New Year’s resolutions should extend to getting password protection sorted out, writes Carey van Vlaanderen, CEO at ESET Southern Africa.
Many of us have entered the new year with a boat load of New Year’s resolutions. Doing more exercise, fixing unhealthy eating habits and saving more money are all highly respectable goals, but could it be that they don’t go far enough in an era with countless apps and sites that scream for letting them help you reach your personal goals.
Now, you may want to add a few weightier and yet effortless habits on top of those well-worn choices. Here are a handful of tips for ‘exercises’ that will go good for your cyber-fitness.
I won’t pass up on stubborn passwords
Passwords have a bad rap, and deservedly so: they suffer from weaknesses, both in terms of security and convenience, that make them a less-than-ideal method of authentication. However, much of what the internet offers is independent on your singing up for this or that online service, and the available form of authentication almost universally happens to the username/password combination.
As the keys that open online accounts (not to speak of many devices), passwords are often rightly thought of as the first – alas, often only – line of defence that protects your virtual and real assets from intruders. However, passwords don’t offer much in the way of protection unless, in the first place, they’re strong and unique to each device and account.
But what constitutes a strong password? A passphrase! Done right, typical passphrases are generally both more secure and more user-friendly than typical passwords. The longer the passphrase and the more words it packs the better, with seven words providing for a solid start. With each extra character (not to mention words), the number of possible combinations rises exponentially, which makes simple brute-force password-cracking attacks far less likely to succeed, if not well-nigh impossible (assuming, of course, that the service in question does not impose limitations on password input length – something that is, sadly, far too common).
Click here to read about making secure passwords by not using dictionary words, using two-factor authentication, and how biometrics are coming to
Code Week prepares 2.3m young Africans for future
By SUNIL GENESS, Director Government Relations & CSR, Global Digital Government, at SAP Africa.
On January 6th, 2019, news broke of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s plans to announce a new approach to education in his second State of the Nation address, including:
- A universal roll-out of tablets for all pupils in the country’s 23 700 primary and secondary schools
- Computer coding and robotics classes for the foundation-phase pupils from grade 1-3 and the
- Digitisation of the entire curriculum, , including textbooks, workbooks and all teacher support material.
With this, the President has shown South Africa’s response to a global challenge: equipping our youth with the skills they’ll need to survive and thrive in the 21st century digital economy.
Africa’s working-age population will increase to 600 million in 2030 from a base of 370 million in 2010.
In South Africa, unemployment stands at 26.7 percent, but is much more pronounced among youths: 52.2 percent of the country’s 15-24-year-olds are looking for work.
As an organisation deeply invested in South Africa and its future, SAP has developed and implemented a range of initiatives aimed at fostering digital skills development among the country’s youth, including:
AFRICA CODE WEEK
Since its launch in 2015, Africa Code Week has introduced more than 4 million African youth to basic coding.
In 2018, more than 2.3 million youth across 37 countries took part in Africa Code Week.
The digital skills development initiative’s focus on building local capacity for sustainable learning resulted in close to 23 000 teachers being trained in the run-up to the October 2018 events.
Vital to the success of Africa Code Week is the close support it receives from a broad spectrum of public and private sector institutions, including UNESCO YouthMobile, Google, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Cape Town Science Centre, the Camden Education Trust, 28 African governments, over 130 implementing partners and 120 ambassadors across the continent.
SAP’s efforts to drive digital skills development on the African continent forms part of a broader organisational commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, specifically Goal 4 (“Ensure quality and inclusive education for all”)
A core component of Africa Code Week is to encourage female participation in STEM-related skills development activities: in 2018, more than 46% of all Africa Code Week participants were female.
According to Africa Code Week Global Coordinator Sunil Geness, female representation in STEM-related fields among African businesses currently stands at 30%, “requiring powerful public-private partnerships to start turning the tide and creating more equitable opportunities for African youth to contribute to the continent’s economic development and success”.
Click here to read more about the Skills for Africa graduate training programme, and about the LEGO League.