Surprises: MoE’s SAPS and the Kelantan football team
No surprises: Psy, Premier League, and Proton Preve
MALAYSIANS are a pretty diverse lot, and Google’s annual Zeitgeist shows just how varied their interests are with 2012 searches ranging from shopping sites to TV series, and online gaming terms to Korean pop songs, the search engine said in a statement.
Malaysia’s No 1 top trending search of 2012 was a surprise – the Ministry of Education’s School Examination Analysis System (SAPS), which probably had hordes of parents looking up their children’s performance.
Korean pop star Psy’s global hit song Gangnam Style rode its way to the second spot while the Proton Preve (pic), image-based social media website 9GAG and online fashion shopping site Zalora rounded up this year’s top five most trending search terms.
“Google is often the first place Malaysians turn to follow their favorite sports, catch up on the latest news or discover new things and people,” said Google spokesman Zeffri Yusof.
“As always, the year-end Zeitgeist is a cultural barometer that gives us a real snapshot of the big events, memorable moments and growing trends in Malaysia for 2012.”
Gangnam Style is not only the most viewed video on YouTube ever, but it also kept Malaysians scratching their heads as proven by the number-topping ‘What Is’ searches.
Malaysians also wanted to know more about online piracy (SOPA), why You Only Live Once (YOLO), Lynas, Instagram, love and surprisingly, also wanted to find out what ‘the Internet’ is.
Whitney Houston’s death in February led her to being the most searched for person of 2012 in Malaysia, ahead of basketball star Jeremy Lin.
Locally, Malaysians turned the spotlight on songbird Shila Amzah, who won the Asian Wave talent show in Shanghai and singer Izwan Pilus, who died of a blood infection in January.
Top Image searches
Mornings seems to make for the most picturesque time of the day, with Malaysians placing images of the rising sun, fluffy clouds and other related wake-up-and-shine imagery at the top of their image searches.
Also everything related to images of birthdays -- Happy Birthday, Birthday cakes and Birthday Wishes. Roses, cartoons and love images were also some of Malaysians’ favorite images to look for this year.
It may have only opened in September, but Legoland Malaysia (pic) in Johor has become the most searched for destination for Malaysians.
Popular holiday spots Sunway Lagoon, Langkawi, Cameron Highlands and Melaka all make their appearance as go-to places, with only Universal Studios Singapore and the island state itself making the list as non-local hotspots.
Not surprisingly, Malaysians’ favorite sports teams to search for are mostly international football-related.
Premier League club Arsenal topped the table as the most searched for team ahead of traditional choices Manchester United and Liverpool -- somewhat of a surprise this year, but what’s noteworthy among all the top guns of the Premier League and Spanish La Liga is that 2012 Malaysia Super League winner Kelantan also makes an appearance in the top 10, demonstrating that yes, Malaysia’s love for football starts at home.
Mobile searches (People)
Google has also included a new category for this year: Top mobile searches.
Malaysians’ on-the-go searches for the people they’re most fascinated with sees ‘celebrity’ preacher Ustaz Azhar Idrus being searched the most on phone screens. They also dialed in on teen idols Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift, checked out the latest car news via Paul Tan’s blog and searched for updates on political figure Anwar Ibrahim.
In addition to showcasing what people were curious about in Malaysia, Google Zeitgeist tools also offer insight into which topics captured the world’s attention in 2012.
The top search terms from over 50 countries appear on the Google Zeitgeist webpage - http://www.google.com/zeitgeist/2012/.
Google reveals the internet ‘Zeitgeist’ (a German word best described as "the spirit of the times") through an exploration of the billions of search queries it receives each year.
In addition to the year-end Zeitgeist, which highlights the top trends of 2012, Google also has several free tools that give insight into global, regional, past and present search trends http://www.google.com/trends.
“Top trending” are the search terms that have seen the largest increase in search volume over the year.