Jacob Zuma’s never-say-die attitude reflected by Internet hits

I was curious to see how Jacob Zuma (JZ) fairs on the Internet. So, I downloaded a Google Insights graph that shows online traffic relating to search of his name since 2004. This graph indicates whether a brand’s online presence grows or declines overtime. As the trend shows, JZ’s brand has been on the up.

Google Insights - Trending of Jacob Zuma, 2004-Now

As can be seen in the Google Insights graph, there are 10 noticeable spikes. I then googled his name, year and month for each of the spikes to see what happened. The events below caused the spikes:

Chronology of Jacob Zuma's Public Life - 2004 to Current
Chronology of Jacob Zuma’s Public Life – 2004 to Current

Of the events in his public life , I suspect the 1st and 8th events had negative impact on his brand. A fair portion of the remaining 8 events were happy endings, which must have contributed positively to his online brand. Of all the events, 2nd4th and 6th events created the most online traffic for the president. The recent local government elections are not reflected in the graph as it was extracted 3 days before the event took place.

One take-out from the chronology table is that JZ is a survivor. He was the last man standing despite many of the trials he encountered to date.

A drill-down using Google Insights indicates that most the online traffic relating JZ’s came mainly from news, search query trends and information categories of online media. The social network category has not caught fire yet. Analysis of the President’s tweeting trend indicates that he has been bitten by the Twitter bug (JZ is starting to tweet himself, and more than once a day in the last 2 days). If this trend continues, in good time contribution by this category to his online traffic will become important.



  • Nuffdotty – where thoughts on the subject of education, mostly relating to South Africa, are shared
  • Diski4Life – a blog about development of South African soccer post World Cup 2010


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