The past year has been a year of recovery as we established a new normal in the post-pandemic era. Especially with the general election this year, 2022 has been a momentous and busy year for Malaysia. Consequently, more people turned to Google to stay updated on current affairs. Additionally, more people have gone out and about to explore places within the country.
Google's Year in Search reveals the Internet’s spirit of the times through an exploration of the over one trillion search queries they receive each year. Google did caveat this by saying that Google Search tools can never be used to identify individual users because they rely on anonymised, aggregated counts of how often certain search queries can occur over time.
Let’s take a look at some of the top trending Google searches this year and see what Malaysians have engaged with the most this year.
According to Google, searches for places of interest has spiked this year. Among the top searches for places were malls such as IOI City Mall, Tropicana Gardens Mall and Pavilion Bukit Jalil. Topping the list is 'Genting Highlands', an integrated resort destination in Malaysia.
Aside from places, Malaysians also searched for some of the top trending topics that were topped by ‘Bantuan Keluarga Malaysia’, an financial support website, MySPR Semak, an election site and thirdly, the World Cup. Another local Google search which was the top trending search globally, was Wordle, as guessing five-letter words every day became a way of life for many. Another online pastime that caught the attention of Malaysians is the ‘Mental Age Test’ which takes the 10th spot.
Meanwhile, 2022 was a momentous year for Malaysians with the recent GE15. Consequently, the trending local personalities were mostly politicians. Topping the list is Malaysia’s newly elected PM, Anwar Ibrahim, with former PM Najib Razak and current DPM, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. Also mentioned in the top google searches for local personalities was Zalina Azman, a news reporter who went missing in November 2021.
Communications manager at Google Malaysia, Nadia Khan said that this is the first year since the pandemic that places of interest across Malaysia are showing up on top trending searches. "[It is] a possible indication that we’re now well into a post-COVID era and embracing domestic travel and experiences once again," she added.
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