28 August 2006

South Africans to Google: 1 x luxury car please!

ZDNet’s ITFact blog recently reported that Americans conducted over 6 billion searches – in June 2006 alone! Now, we knew Americans were online. Broadband penetration of 70% etc. etc. Still, that’s whopping big number.

Try this on for size. Google has a new service about to graduate from Google Labs – Google Trends. Although they “disclaim” that the results are an approximation, they certainly tell an interesting story about Africans, particularly South Africans on the path to catching up. What you’re about to see are proportional results of the number of searches performed by country on particular keywords…


As you can see in the pic, proportionally, South Africans search for BMW more than any other country bar Germany (thanks to Scott Gray, Online Marketing Manager at BMW JHB for this tip)! And then, for some of our building industry clients – how startling are these results? Almost double the proportional amount of searches for “building glass” than our nearest rival – New Zealand. 5th on the list for “windscreen”. And the clincher? 3rd on the list (by a whisker) for the search term “marketing”.

So, it seems South Africans actually DO use the Internet for research, purchase, entertainment, searching… and business. I guess the time really has come for industries to catch a wake up. The Internet is here to stay in this country – and usage is growing exponentially. As broadband prices plummet and a second network operator (hopefully) becomes imminent – South Africans are going to request and expect the speed and flexibility that the Internet, and it’s hosted applications can provide.

We won’t be driving a Cadillac – but South African’s are definitely trying to hitch a ride on that superhighway.

(Any other interesting Google Trends results that you've come across? Don't believe them? Post a comment!)