We’re dang curious la. What are Malaysians googling most of the time? To find out, we cleared out our history, dumped cache and cookies and whatever, then searched the A to Z of Google Malaysia. It provided us an interesting insight into the Malaysian psyche.
Going through all 26 letters of the alphabet, we learnt that some categories are very popular suggestions – airlines, banks, online shopping, news sites, and email service.
Here in Part 1, we repeat – Part 1, we present to you, our findings from A to M.
A for AirAsia
AirAsia is the airline that revolutionised flying for the masses – and by that we mean whether you are someone with a pea-sized budget, OR loaded but insists on a pea-sized budget. MasterCard discovered that a majority of Malaysians prefer to look up information on airline websites first, before turning to online travel guides and travel agents. So, as AirAsia has achieved household fame AND is a proudly Malaysian brand, naturally it pops up at the top of the search engine.
Don’t believe us? This is how much Malaysians love AirAsia – the airline ranked 4th in Superbrand’s Top 10 Favourite brands. You will
never likely guess correctly what the no.1 favourite brand is… and it’s in this list! Numbers 2 and 3 here.
Still have your doubts?
How ’bout now?
Proving Astro‘s popularity is a numbers game, so sit back and relax, we’ll try to make this as painless as possible.
This year, Astro saw a revenue growth of 14% to RM1.1 billion compared with RM986 million, last year. It also saw subscriber growth of 15% to 3.58 million. Astro has a 53% penetration of Malaysian TV households. If Malaysians wanted to watch the EPL, Born to Kill?, or Battle of the Hollywood Hotties, Astro is only the non-Piratebay, non-YouTube way to do it. Heck, if you had to match the TV channel to a board game character, Astro would be the equivalent of Rich Uncle Pennybags himself.
In case you’re wondering why John Legend’s ‘All of Me’ lyrics popped up, it could be because the Legend is coming to Malaysia!!! Betchuguys already knew that and bought the tickets long ago, summore. 😀
Also because his song is topping the charts…
— Hot Music Charts (@ihotmusiccharts) July 10, 2014
Fans will remember what a good time they had rocking out to John Legend and other acts at Malaysia’s first ever Sunburst KL festival in 2008. It had a solid turnout of 15,000 people and it was the one of the biggest in the region. With that in mind and ‘All of Me’s chart-topping traction, we understand the Google traffic.
B for BeautifulNara
Even though it sits at no. 128 on Alexa’s Top Sites in Malaysia, BeautifulNara is nevertheless the no. 1 BLOG. It’s a BM site that offers the latest chatter on Malaysian celebrities, while doing it in a manner that is berhemah tinggi (sez their tagline). Does this show us that Malaysians adore gossip? Are we obsessed with celebrities? We know the female gender with some college education at school locations do, according to the site’s visitor demographics. Just check out the love we give our home grown celebs. The rakyat’s reading taste is quite diverse because it can go from the gossip end of the spectrum to current news… Berita Harian comes at 59th position on Alexa’s ranking. It’s one of Malaysia’s go-to sites for BM-language news, despite what The Malaysian Insider had reported – that mainstream media is suffering, as more people turn to social media to get their daily dose of news. Still, this notion carries weight as we’ll explain further down at the letter M for Malaysiakini. When it comes to news, we also like to know what’s going on beyond our backyard because Google detects that Malaysian surfers search for international news sites like BBC. But be careful, because a little birdy told us that BBC could stand for something else… One positive thought to come out of these Google Suggestions is that Muhyiddin is not entirely spot-on about our lack of reading. We’re reading… ONLINE. 😀
C for CIMB Clicks
… oh yeah, for Internet banking. Malaysians are the biggest online banking users in SEA, according to a comScore Media Matrix Malaysia survey – hence TWO banks appearing on Google Suggest. Hong Kong comes in second, followed by Singapore. CIMB Clicks is the second most visited banking site after Maybank2u, but has been named the ‘Best Internet Bank in Malaysia‘ for its efforts to simplify online banking for customers. Next question, what the kawaii heck is up with that octopus mascot? Eh people, he’s not ‘that octopus mascot’, k! His name is Octo and here’s how he got the gig playing the bank’s mascot:
Since AirAsia is a top search, we can see how currency converter is logically another suggestion. For one thing, more and more Malaysian students are opting to study abroad. For another, Malaysians are avid travellers. That MasterCard survey we were telling you about (in A) shows that Malaysians love to holiday both domestically and internationally. You guys are so blessed and we’re kinda jels, coz travelling rewards you in these 10 ways. Yes, try not to think of this part (down in pic) and focus on the good…
Maybe currency converter searching also be reflective of our growing online shopping habits. If you’re shopping on international sites, then you would be doing this math = USD to MYR, GBP to MYR, etc.
D for Dailymotion
Buzzfeed did a story on Dailymotion, calling it “YouTube’s dark alter ego”. Why? Coz apparently the video-sharing website allows users to upload seedy content, which YouTube itself avoids like some kind of gross STD. If the site ranks at no.84, while YouTube is all the way up at no.4, why is it on Google Suggest? Well, maybe because people feel that:
- It allows prohibited and copyrighted content.
- Better video quality than YouTube.
- The site interface is slicker.
We’re no experts on the site but found this out from a Dailymotion vs YouTube smackdown. Another most searched D word – DiGi, has been the biggest gainer in the market while Maxis has been the biggest earner, because the yellow man had signed 500,000 new subscribers
to its cause of following people wherever they may go in 2013. DiGi muscled its way into becoming one of the market leaders of the prepaid market. Aside from that, there are other things users can do on its site:
- Pay for your daily 2 hours of chit chat and 101 sms-es.
- Cari the latest phones and gadgets for the best deals.
E for eBay
Hey, big spender, you see eBay on Google’s top search proving our point about online shopping? Back in 2010, we had spent RM1.8 billion online and by 2014 this figure is expected to rise to RM5 billion, according to PayPal. 91% of our Internet community are online shoppers. The other 9% cited TRUST as a reason for not shopping online. Because Malaysians google eBay a lot, it shows that we really trust that site. And why not, it offers secure PayPal payment. Stemming from our enormous love – think, 21-hours-and-34-minutes-a-week, love – of radio, Malaysians are the biggest ‘fangirls’ of radio in the whole APAC zone. Gotta have something to do when you’re stuck in jams kan? Out of all the channels, ERA fm is the nation’s favourite BM radio station. It was voted as no. 1 again in the Nielsen survey.
Take a chill pill and listen to something on Era la. Don’t keep hypochondiac-ing about Ebola. The public really freaked out when Malaysia kononnya had a rumoured Ebola case, but like we’ve updated you guys it was thankfully just a RUMOUR (spread jam, not rumours). As you can see, Malaysia is not turning African students away, so don’t panic giler. Still, it doesn’t hurt to practise the safety measures laid out in our article.
F for Facebook
Aiya, Facebook? What else is new, right? The social networking site reigns supreme in Malaysia’s favourite sites to be, ranking no. 1. Malaysians have the most number of friends on Facebook AND spend the most hours per week on them? Its an average of 233 friends on Facebook, followed by 231 in Brazil, while Japanese users have the least number at 29. Giving AirAsia a run for its money (and us a break on our budget), Firefly is the cheapest airline in the world, based on a survey by WhichAirline.com. Since we’ve have been identified as the most price-sensitive shoppers, there’s no shame in admitting that cheap is the way we roll in picking a fight…fah…fluh…flight. Oi, FIFA World Cup?! Hasn’t that boat sailed? The next game bukan a long way away in 2018, meh? However the spike in Google searches could just be as straightforward as WE LOVE FOOTBALL. It’s considered the most popular sport in the country. If ya’ll still suffering from withdrawal symptoms, then try our World Cup hangover cures here.
G for Google
Wut? All G suggestions are Google related? Hey, maybe because Google is owned by, like… Google! It has been ranked as Malaysian consumers’ most favourite brand by Superbrand 2013’s survey. It narrowly beat our local tersayang, hydrating drink, 100 Plus! It’s chuckle-worthy to see how such starkly different brands like Google and 100 Plus appeal to the masses almost neck and neck. According to Alexa, Google is the second most visited site, while Google Malaysia is third. With Google Translate as a suggestion, it can only mean that the rakyat are visiting foreign language sites. 2009 marked the first time BM joined the ranks of other languages on Google Translate, so now we’ve got our main bahasas in the system – BM, English, Chinese and Tamil Good to see we are expanding geographic and cultural borders. Incidentally, why not take it to the next level by signing up for language courses? Choices are plentiful online. Just… Google la! 😀 We had some fun with Translate, putting in text from story classic, Lebai Malang, and this is what we got:
H for Hotmail
Ah, the H search says this about the Malaysian psyche – that we’re all dear, uncomplicated and simple-living folk. Did we just describe the Smurfs? O_O As revealed in earlier, email, Gmail and Hotmail are most searched, which means users are using it as one of the main, daily forms of communication, whether personally or professionally.
“I think without technology it’s hard to get everything done quick and easily. We have emails to pass bulk information around the office.” – Event Executive, 25
R.I.P. fax machine! Sensationalism sells and readers are buying it, because “Malaysia’s most accurate news site”, Harian Metro, emerged as 5th most visited site for the month of June, this year. Harian Metro has always been hinted on, nay recognised, nay relied on, for their delivery of headlines such as: “Pengantin Lari”, “Mentari Hitam”, or “Nasi kosong kuah kicap”. What the…. They’re not shy wan, you see…
I for Instagram
Huh, seems Malaysians have a greater penchant for selfies than real estate. We’re sure you would have heard that Malaysians, particularly in PJ (5th place) and Georgetown (10th place), are the ‘selfiest’ Instagrammers in Asia. Like 5th and 10th spots were not honourable enough, we set out to prove ourselves with a new world record – most selfies taken in 1 hour. We managed to scrape an unofficial count of 613 selfies. That’s 192 more than the previous world record held by Canada. Wah, so this area we champion la? Even property can be found over the Internet now. What else don’t we buy online? (Brides? Oh wait…) iProperty has the most listings in Malaysia at the moment. It went off to a spluttering start in the beginning before co-founder, Patrick Grove, injected some dough it needed and today it is SEA’s 14th most visited site. Alternatively, you can look for the perfect house on Propwall, PropertyGuru, even Mudah, and others.
J for JobStreet
Forbes stated that JobStreet is now SEA’s largest online employment company. Additionally, it was Malaysia’s 14th most clicked on site in June 2014. It features a job matching engine named LiNa for job-seekers and a job posting platform named SiVa for employers. Terlampau comel! Giving it anthropomorphic characters makes it much easier for users to remember.
Besides giving the site ‘personalities’, Malaysians can learn interesting stuff from it, such as: One in four Malaysian employees have faked illnesses to score medical certificates while one in four of those who have not done so are willing to pay up to RM25 for a fake MC (a JobStreet survey).
K for Kosmo
KFC?! What’s in the 11 secret herbs and spices that makes it so finger lickin’ good? Some magical dust from unicorn wings?! The fast food chain might very well be the country’s oldest, starting as early as 1973. McDonald’s datang only in 1982, while Marrybrown is Buatan Malaysia. Long ago, it didn’t offer delivery services, but now they’ll bring the nyum, nyum ayam right to your doorstep and orders can be placed online.
Or is it? After all the KFC brand has the highest number of fans on Facebook – No. 1 AND 2 spots. Eh, 1 and 2? How’s that possibru? Allow us to explain:
So we have Kosmo, KWSP, KFC, then tetiba-tiba got ‘Kerana Terpaksa Aku Relakan’. There isn’t much we can tell you that you can’t already korek on Google, but because we are CILISOS, den terpaksalah kami relakan. It’s a Malay TV drama based on a novel of the same name and it tells of a sad young woman’s tormented life. The similarities (especially the evil step-sisters) to Cinderella are uncanny. Synopsis here. The show has its own Cari forum thread (101 pages!!!) and Android app.
In facto, the show contributes to another Google suggestion for the letter T (in our upcoming Part 2) – when we tried looking for full episodes, TV3 led us to Tonton.
Remember a time when live scores used to be broadcasted first on TV or over the radio? Yeah, we almost can’t either. The Livescore website provides real time info about sports results – from soccer, World Cup, hockey, basketball, tennis, to cricket.
But Malaysians are probably doing more than just looking up team scores, we bet. Could this be reflective of how prevalent sports betting is in the country? Let’s just say the betting peaked during World Cup 2014 and it is catching on like a virus among younger Malaysians.
Speaking of football, it appears that Malaysians are big fans of Liverpool… or at least fans are exercising their search engines more. Our M search did not yield Manchester results. Sorry, Man U fans.
Heart-warming story-telling time: This was first reported in The Star. Maira Elizabeth Nari, daughter of MH370’s chief steward, Andrew Nari, tweeted:
But Liverpool fans refused to let her walk alone and they tweeted her a direct message which read, “@Gorgxous_ Just to let you know that we are thinking of your father & all those still missing from flight #MH370 Be strong. YNWA.”
M suggestions again show us that Malaysians prevalently spend their Internet time banking, shopping and reading.
Maybank is not only the top bank in Malaysia, its site, Maybank2u is the most visited as well. Maybank has 45% of Internet banking population in the country and now has an app to bring banking to the mobile world.
According to the same comScore survey, Mudah was the second most visited site, reflecting the same order on Google Suggest. The awesome thing about Mudah that Malaysian shoppers like is the convenience. It’s your one-stop shop where you can buy (or sell) almost anything online. Need a new car? Need a job? A pet tortoise? Just shop in Mudah. So mudah, right? Here’s are some of the things you can buy on Mudah:
3. Wooden casabas (you know you want it)
4. Two new chopsticks and a vegetable/fruit peeler (just like you wished for on your birthday candles)
The third suggestion, alternative media Malaysiakini is 18th on Alexa’s rankings, but is consistently the highest ranked news site, beating other mainstream media sites. Unique in another way, Malaysiakini was the nation’s very first exclusively online news portal.
The story of Malaysiakini
Malaysiakini was founded by Premesh Chandrangwasih and Steven Gan in November 1999. Frustrated with constraints at The Sun, Steven decided to use the Multimedia Super Corridor pledge to create a space for uncensored journalism. The site started with 5 journalists with Steven as Editor-in-Chief.
For its first story, Malaysiakini criticised the practice of a Chinese language daily because it had doctored a photograph of Malaysia’s ruling party to remove Anwar Ibrahim. In April 2001, the news portal made waves again when it reported the secret detention of 10 political activists. Now that’s kick-butt!
OK folks, we’ve come to the end of Part 1 of A to Z Suggestions on Google Malaysia. Don’t panic! They didn’t change the alphabet and end it at M. Part 2 – N to Z – is coming up. So what we’ve learned about Malaysians’ search patterns on Google are that we care most about budget travelling (especially flying), convenient banking and shopping online banking, catching up on the latest local and international news (add in a bit of celeb gossip), and finally email service. But this is only half of what we know so far, so stay tuned!