A Year in Kenyan Search: Google’s trending searches of 2016


Google has released the annual Year In Search 2016, which uncovers searches and questions that drove Kenyans online throughout the year.

Similar to last year’s Year in Search, 2016’s most trending searches were mainly driven by events and personalities. Kenyans’ perpetual love for all things football was manifested by ‘Euro 2016’ being the first search query on the list as people went online to find out more about their favourite teams and  players.

The U.S presidential election that was held on Tuesday, November 8, 2016 caught the world’s attention, and Kenya was no exception as people thronged online to learn more about the President-Elect,  Donald Trump; who is this year’s second-most trending search query.

Kenyans also turned to Google Search as they sought to learn and find out more about the Olympic Games held in Rio, Brazil from 5th August to 21st August 2016. Team Kenya brought home 6 gold medals, 6 silver medals, and 1 bronze – marking the most wins of any African team at the 2016 Olympic Games as well as the best Olympic performance in Kenya’s history. Kenya came in 15th globally in medals, and was second only to the United States in track and field medals.

Other trending searches were: Jacob Juma – after he was found dead in his car on 5th May, 2016 Muhammad Ali – after he died on June 3rd, 2016; Hillary Clinton – the First American woman Presidential candidate; Diana Chelele – after the acclaimed secular musician was found dead in her Kapkwen home on 9th January; Lucy Kibaki – after the former First Lady passed away while undergoing treatment in London, United Kingdom. Project X – a party that was intended to take place at an undisclosed location and Achieng Abura – after the afro-jazz musician died on October 20, 2016.

With regards to most searched events, search queries related to the 2016 Olympic Games were the most dominant in 2016. Kenya won 13 medals with 6 gold, 6 silver and 1 bronze.

The U.S election was the second most trending event as Kenyans went online to find out more about the Presidential candidates and their respective parties while Brexit – a portmanteau of “British exit” – was the third most trending event after The United Kingdom withdrew from the European Union.  Other trending events were: Uganda elections, Holi Festival, Kericho by-election, Bob Collymore wedding, Ramadan 2016 and the Huruma tragedy.

On the most trending “How to” searches, “How to lose weight fast” was the top search as Kenyans turned to search to find out how the could lose some pounds and lead a healthier lifestyle. “How to create a blog” was the second “how to” search term while “How to keep natural hair soft ” was third on the list. Other trending “How to” search terms were: How to bleach skin professionally, “How to chat with girls”, “How to get a flat stomach”, “How to treat a burn at home”, “How to answer interview questions” and “How to use colored bulbs for interior decor”.

“What is happening in Aleppo?” was the most trending “what is” search in 2016 as people went online to find out more about the Syrian City that is the ground for an ongoing military confrontation between the Syrian opposition and the Syrian Armed Forces. “What is going on in Ethiopia?” was the second most trending “what is” while “What is the meaning of red heart?” was third on the list. Other trending “what is” searches were: “What is devolution?”, “What is candidiasis?”, “What is nausea?”, “What is halitosis?”, “What is pdf?”, “What is mocha?” and “What is detox?”.

Kenyans also turned to Google for answers on some of their health queries “How to lose weight fast” and “How to get a flat stomach” were the first and second most searched health queries respectively. “How to calculate my pregnancy” was the third most trending health query. Other trending health queries were:  “How to stop smelly feet”, “How to lower blood pressure”, “How to treat itchy eyes”, “How to calculate safe days”, “How to cure tonsils”, “How to gain weight in one day” and “How to treat stomach ulcers”.

Kenya’s Trending Searches:

  1. Euro 2016

  2. Donald Trump

  3. Olympic Games Rio 2016

  4. Jacob Juma

  5. Muhammad Ali

  6. Hillary Clinton

  7. Diana Chelele

  8. Lucy Kibaki

  9. Project X

  10. Achieng Abura

Kenya’s Trending Events:

  1. Olympic Games 2016

  2. U.S election

  3. Brexit

  4. UEFA Euro 2016

  5. Uganda elections

  6. Holi Festival

  7. Kericho by-election

  8. Bob Collymore wedding

  9. Ramadan 2016

  10. Huruma tragedy

Kenya’s Trending “How to”Searches:

  1. How to lose weight fast

  2. How to create a blog

  3. How to keep natural hair soft

  4. How to save money

  5. How to bleach skin professionally

  6. How to chat with girls

  7. How to get a flat stomach

  8. How to treat a burn at home

  9. How to answer interview questions

  10. How to use colored bulbs for interior decor

Kenya’s Trending “What is” Searches:

  1. What is happening in Aleppo?

  2. What is going on in Ethiopia?

  3. What is the meaning of red heart?

  4. What is devolution?

  5. What is candidiasis?

  6. What is nausea?

  7. What is halitosis?

  8. What is pdf?

  9. What is mocha?

  10. What is detox?

Kenya’s  “How to” Health Searches:

  1. How to lose weight fast

  2. How to get a flat stomach

  3. How to calculate my pregnancy

  4. How to stop smelly feet

  5. How to lower blood pressure

  6. How to treat itchy eyes

  7. How to calculate safe days

  8. How to cure tonsils

  9. How to gain weight in one day

  10. How to treat stomach ulcers

Every year, Google reveals the Internet through an exploration of the over one trillion search queries it receives each year. In addition to the Year In Search, which highlights the top trends of 2016, the firm also has several tools that give insight into global, regional, past and present search trends. Google Year In Search  tools can never be used to identify individual users as it relies on anonymized, aggregated counts of how often certain search queries occur over time. These tools are available year-round for you to play with, explore, and learn.