A European football thrashing, pandemic advice, and the footwear options for convicted criminals: these were some of the top Google searches across Nigeria in August.
The Estádio da Luz might’ve been empty for Bayern Munich’s 8-2 thrashing of Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League on 14 August, but that didn’t mean there was any less attention paid to it online. In fact, the fixture was the top search in Nigeria over the past month.
Small wonder too. The match was extraordinary and saw several records being broken. For instance, Bayern beat their own record of 36 minutes, set against Porto in the 2014/15 quarter-final second leg, for the fastest a team has ever scored four goals in a Champions League knockout match. It was also the first time Barcelona had conceded more than five goals in a Champions League knockout game since 1976.
Of course, the reason the stadium had no spectators — limiting the spread of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic — remains top of mind too. “COVID-19 prevention” was the second-most searched term for the month. To date, there have been more than 54 000 confirmed cases in Nigeria, with just over 1 000 confirmed deaths.
The most esoteric among the top searches for August was undoubtedly “prison slippers”. The search trended after Nigerians were called out for paying more than 21 000 Naira for Yeezy Slides, the slippers created by rap mogul Kanye West. It didn’t take long, however, for local bloggers to realise that they look remarkably similar to prison slippers. Worth the money? Probably not.
Another notable trending topic included “waec 2020 timetable”. This year’s timetable for the important secondary school certificate exams courted controversy, with a number of examinations clashing with Friday Jumu’ah prayers, leading to claims that it was anti-Muslim.
Other trending terms included “buruji kashamu”(following the politician’s death on 8 August), various football fixtures, and “burna boy twice as tall”.
When it comes to the top questions for the month, financial affairs won out, with “how to make money online” the top search. It was followed by “when is school returning” in second and “when is school resuming in nigeria” in fifth, suggesting that there might be some frustrated parents out there.
Baking remains a trend, with “how to make pancakes” and “how to make a cake” among the most asked questions.
At a deeper level, “who is the world best man” was an interesting feature among the most asked questions for the month. We’re not sure even Google can provide a definitive answer to that one though.
Search interest is plotted on an index of 0 – 100 and anything over 40 indicates high levels of search interest relative to other terms being searched at the time. Live search data is available on the Google Nigeria Trends site.
Search trends information is gleaned from data collated by Google based on what Nigerians have been searching for and asking Google. 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.