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Kenya’s Trending Searches 2017

Kenya’s Trending Searches 2017

As 2017 draws to a close, Google has launched its 2017 Year in Search, the 17th annual look at the year through the lense of Google Search Trends uncovering unique searches and queries that grabbed the attention of Kenyans and the world since the year began.

This year’s most trending searches reveal that Kenyans turned to Google to search more about the 2017 General Election. Searches related to the elections occupied six positions on the list of ten top trending general searches as Kenyans keenly followed events surrounding the elections.

When Kenyans weren’t keeping up to date with the local political scene, they sought to find out more about prominent  figures and global events. From Mwai Kibaki, Janet Kanini, Robert  Mugabe, Joseph Nkaissery, Chris Msando to Jimmy Wanjigi, Kenyans demonstrated interest in these individuals who made news headlines in 2017. Questions on Catalonia’s independence, the tragic Hurricane Irma and the Zimbabwe coup also dominated online searches showing Kenyans’ desire to understand global experiences.

As observed every other year, Kenyans were interested in all things sports. From the Africa Cup of Nations, the Mayweather Vs McGregor boxing match to the Confederations cup, the nation’s love for sports was at an all time high despite the  political tension experienced throughout the year.

Google’s annual Year In Search, a look at the year through the collective eyes of the world on the web, offering a unique perspective on the year’s major events and hottest trends, reveals a collation of the events, people and searches that shaped 2017 locally and globally.

Top on the list of all the general trending searches was IEBC results. In a year largely characterised by electioneering events, Kenyans went online to search for events around the general elections. NASA Coalition and its flag bearer, the Jubilee Party and the presidential results were the top trending search items around the Kenya Elections. The phrase Tibim, morphed into a political slogan was also among the trending searches. The word traces its origin to Embakasi East MP, Babu Owino who first used it during a political rally. He later said “Tibim is Greek word meaning revolution, political revolution”. Gambia also attracted attention of Kenyans online emerging the second most trending search after the country held her first parliamentary elections since the new president, Adama Barrow ascended to power ending Yahya Jammeh’s 22 year rule.

Away from the elections, Despacito, a spanish song by Puerto Rican pop artist Luis Fonsi featuring Daddy Yankee topped the list of the year’s trending searches on entertainment scene, and the fourth overall trending search by Kenyans. Despacito has todate broken the YouTube streaming record – becoming the first song to reach four billion plays on YouTube, besides several other renditions coming along including Ameru, Kisii and Kalenjin versions of the song. The Trending entertainment searches saw Bazokizo by Bruze Newton featuring Collo, and Odi dance by Timeless Noel featuring Hype Ochi and Jabidii come in  second and third respectively.

Former president Mwai Kibaki was the top  trending personality of the year. This followed rumors about his health and demise. Current Embakasi East MP Babu Owino who is known for originating the word “Tibim”, was the second trending personality. The former SONU chair had dominated news headlines for various reasons after his election to the August house. Ezra Chiloba, CEO of IEBC also made to the trending list.

Kenyans love for football was demonstrated by  searches for sports personalities where E. Chelsea striker, Álvaro Morata, Manchester United’s Romelu Lukaku and Liverpool winger, Philippe Coutinho were top three trending sports personalities. Other sports people who trended were: Nemanja Matić, Ivan Perisic, Thomas Lemar, Cheick Tiote, Antonio Conte, Dennis Oliech and Floyd Mayweather.

On Trending health searches, Guillain Barré (GB) syndrome, a disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks the nerves came in first, followed by “How to lose weight”, “How to lose belly fat” and “How to get pregnant” as Kenyans sought answers to these questions from Google. Cholera, an acute diarrhoeal disease that can kill within hours if untreated also trended after the country saw a wave of outbreaks in various parts of the country including Garissa, Tana River and Nairobi Counties. In Nairobi, medical professionals attending ‘The Kenya International Scientific Lung Health Conference’ in June were suspected to have been infected with the disease.

In the “What is” category, “What is Sarahah” became the top trending query amongst Kenyans. Sarahah- an app that allows social media users to send messages anonymously, soon faced criticism, for providing avenues for cyber bullying. “What is pangolin” and “What is bitcoin” were the second and third trending search queries respectively. Kenyans’ interest in the unregulated digital currency has been increasing.


Kenyans went online to search “How to search KCPE results online” – the top query in the “how to” category. This follows the recent release of the 2017 KCPE results by the Ministry of Education which were accessible on the KNEC online portal. “How to file KRA returns” was the second trending search query in the “how to category”. This is common every year as Kenyans rush to beat the taxman’s deadline.


In the county searches category, IEBC remained top of the trending searches in Kisumu, Mombasa and Eldoret. Likewise, football dominated the county searches with Chelsea being the top trending team in Mombasa and Eldoret while Arsenal being the favourite in Kisumu county.

In the global scene, Hurricane Irma was the top trending search item while Matt Lauer became the trending personality. The former Today Show host faced allegations over sexual harassment of his female colleagues at NBC. The year also saw internet users across the world search for “how to make slime”.The process of making slime has been described as fun, therapeutic and stress relieving, a supposed reason for the internet obsession around it.

To see the Kenya list, please go here .

To see the top trending lists from around the world, visit

Below is a list of the top trending searches in 2017:



Top Trending Searches

  1.   IEBC Results
  2.   Gambia
  3.   KCPE 2017 results
  4.   Despacito
  5.   Tibim
  6.   NASA Coalition
  7.   Jubilee Party
  8.   NASA flag bearer
  9.   Standard Gauge Railway (SGR)
  10. Presidential results

Trending People

  1.   Mwai Kibaki
  2.   Babu Owino
  3.   Ezra Chiloba
  4.   Janet Kanini
  5.   Nicholas Biwott
  6.   Robert Mugabe
  7.   Joseph Nkaissery
  8.   Nderitu Gachagua
  9.   Jimmy Wanjigi
  10. Chris Msando

Trending Events

  1.   Kenya Elections
  2.   Lecturers’ Strike
  3.   Mayweather vs McGregor Fight
  4.   Confederations Cup
  5.   Africa Cup of Nations 2017
  6.   Zimbabwe coup
  7.   Hurricane Irma
  8.   Easter 2017
  9.   Catalonia independence
  10. Ramadan 2017

Trending Sports Personalities

  1. Alvaro Morata
  2. Romelu Lukaku
  3. Philippe Coutinho
  4. Nemanja Matić
  5. Ivan Perisic
  6. Thomas Lemar
  7. Cheick Tiote
  8. Antonio Conte
  9. Dennis Oliech
  10. Floyd Mayweather

Trending Entertainment Searches

  1.  Despacito
  2. Odi dance
  3.  Bazokizo
  4. Zilipendwa
  5. Shape Of You
  6. Nyashinski Malaika
  7.  Big Brother Naija
  8. Bet Awards 2017
  9. Eunice Njeri Wedding
  10. Beyonce Twins

Trending Health Searches

  1. Guillain-Barré (GB) syndrome
  2. How to lose weight
  3. How to lose belly fat
  4. How to get pregnant
  5. Cholera

Trending “What Is”

  1. What is Sarahah
  2. What is a Pangolin
  3. What is Bitcoin
  4. What is Biology
  5. What is Covfefe
  6.  What is old and new at the same time
  7.  What is Happening in Zimbabwe
  8. What is the meaning of Tibim
  9. What is Pesalink
  10. What is IEBC

Trending “How To”

  1. How to check KCPE results online
  2. How to file KRA returns
  3. How to make pancakes
  4. How to write an application letter
  5. How to lose belly fat
  6. How to make money online
  7. How to bake a cake
  8. How to create a website
  9. How to get pregnant
  10. How to write a report

County Searches: Mombasa

  1. IEBC
  2. Kenya Elections
  3. Raila Odinga
  4. Confederations Cup
  5. NTSA
  6.  Chelsea
  7. Mayweather vs Mcgregor fight
  8. Nyali Cinemax
  9. La Liga table
  10. Uhuru Kenyatta


County Searches: Eldoret

  1. IEBC
  2. HELB
  3. Chelsea
  4. EPL table
  5. Manchester United
  6. Kenya News
  7. OLX kenya
  8. KRA
  9.  Arsenal
  10. KUCCPS

County Searches: Kisumu

  1. IEBC
  2. Arsenal
  3. Manchester United
  4. Government Human Resource Information System (GHRIS)
  5.  E-citizen
  6. Chelsea
  7. Jumia
  8. HELB
  9.  IEBC jobs
  10. KUCCPS


Trending Global Searches 2017

Trending Searches

  1. Hurricane Irma
  2. iPhone 8
  3. iPhone X
  4. Matt Lauer
  5. Meghan Markle
  6. 13 Reasons Why
  7. Tom Petty
  8. Fidget Spinner
  9. Chester Bennington
  10. India National Cricket Team

Trending How To

  1. How to make slime
  2. How to make solar eclipse glasses
  3. How to buy Bitcoin
  4. How to watch Mayweather vs McGregor
  5. How to make a fidget spinner
  6. How to watch the solar eclipse
  7. How to freeze your credit
  8. How to play Powerball
  9. How to screen record
  10. How to lose belly fat fast

Trending People

  1. Matt Lauer
  2. Meghan Markle
  3. Nadia Toffa
  4. Harvey Weinstein
  5. Kevin Spacey
  6. Gal Gadot
  7. Melania Trump
  8. Floyd Mayweather
  9. Michael Flynn
  10. Philippe Coutinho

Trending Global News

  1. Hurricane Irma
  2. Bitcoin
  3. Las Vegas Shooting
  4. North Korea
  5. Solar Eclipse
  6. Hurricane Harvey
  7. Manchester
  8. Hurricane Jose
  9. Hurricane Maria
  10. April the Giraffe