As 2019 comes to a close, it’s time to find out what Malaysians have been searching for on the Internet via Google over the past year. The tech firm compiles the searches and publishes the results in its annual Google Year in Search for Malaysia, or ‘Zeitgeist’, ranking the most searched items in a number of trending categories.

In the 2019 Search list, only one car made it to the top 10, and that was the Perodua Aruz, which made it on to the charts in 10th spot. The SUV was launched on January 15, and no surprise then that searches for the car were highest during the Jan 13-19 period.

While not mentioned in the report, which simply ranks items in their categories (and the auto/vehicles category was not defined or listed, as it was by 2017 when the Car Models category was dropped from the topic list), delving a bit deeper reveals that search rates were also high for the Toyota Yaris, which made its debut in April, and the Proton X50.

The Search list contained a curious mix of topics – cost of living allowance, or Bantuan Sara Hidup (BSH), was the third most queried item, behind “Let Me Help You Eradicate Crowds” Thanos and Earth Day Quiz, which was the top trending topic in the Search list for the year.

Issues related to the economy and money remain high on people’s minds – in the News category, Budget 2020 was placed third, while the topic of petrol prices – despite the pricing of RON 95 and diesel remaining fixed throughout the year – was fifth. Expect the topic, which will see the price cap for RON 95 being removed in January with the implementation of the petrol subsidy programme (PSP), to feature strongly in the 2020 list.

As is the case with the Google annual list, a note about trending. This doesn’t actually mean “most searched for,” but rather about items that saw the largest increase in the amount of searches over the past year. As such, trending lists are likely to be dominated by items or topics that have suddenly generated high interest, or in the case of cars, newly-launched models.