The Jakarta Post
Google data has shown that eight out of 15 of the most trending keywords in the country were related to major sporting events, particularly soccer matches.
“These were the keywords that rose the fastest in searches this year compared to last year, not the most searched keywords,” said Google Indonesia search marketing manager Mira Sumanti on Thursday.
The Year in Search 2018 list shows that the most trending search words included, among others, the Russia World Cup, Asian Games, ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Cup and even the Asian Games theme song “Meraih Bintang” by singer Via Vallen.
The most searched words in the “characters” category included the U-23 national soccer team, Indonesian Asian Games Organizing Committee (INASGOC) chairman Erick Thohir, men’s doubles shuttler Kevin Sanjaya and men’s singles shuttler Jonathan Christie who “exploded ovaries” after his post-victory shirtless photos went viral on social media.
“Events are generally popular searches. For sporting events, users mostly searched for, among others, the athletes’ profiles, match results, schedules and venues,” Mira told The Jakarta Post.
Google itself helped promote the sporting events by showing a quick view scoreboard when anyone searched for the sporting events, as well as, in the case of the Games, providing live coverage of the opening and closing ceremonies.
Unfortunately, the Asian Para Games, held two months later and heralded as an opportunity to raise awareness about the disabled community in Indonesia, did not make the list.
The survey, accessible on google.co.id/2018, also highlighted other major internet trends in Indonesia such as Marvel superhero film Black Panther, love song “Karna Su Sayang” and the Surabaya suicide
In comparison, last year’s Google data showed that only one sporting event — the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Jakarta and Palembang in South Sumatra — made it to the top 10 most searched items with no spillovers in the character section.
The popularity of sports reflects a similar survey by data analytics company Nielsen Indonesia that shows the Asian Games and World Cup were the two most watched events in Indonesia’s third quarter. The two events, which had an audience reach of 85 and 65 percent, respectively, held the highest-attained viewership compared to any other television program in the third quarter of this year.
“It really was a quarter for sports,” said Nielsen Indonesia media executive director Hellen Katherina.
The report also shows that the two events attracted the highest television ad revenue at Rp 957 billion (US$67.16 million), equal to 3 percent of the total Rp 31.9 trillion spent in the third quarter of this year.
Similarly, Google’s list suggests that the Asian Games were particularly popular compared to other sporting events because athletes, the theme song and the organizing committee chairman made it onto it.
“The Year in Search shows that it was a year for the youth to glorify Indonesia,” said Google communications manager Feliciana Wienathan.
The Games saw not only the government disbursing Rp 8.1 trillion to fund the mega event, but also Jakartans and office managers displaying hundreds of banners and posters that declared, “We support the success of the 2018 Asian Games.”
The quadrennial event received praise from participating countries, including Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) president Sheikh Ahmad al-Fahad al-Sabah who expressed his appreciation of Jakarta and Palembang for
successfully hosting the Games simultaneously.
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo even said Indonesia was interested in bidding to host the 2032 Olympics. (nor)
This article was originally published in The Jakarta Post's print edition on Dec. 14, 2018, with the title "Data reveals Indonesia’s hottest Google searches for 2018".