Pick a country, any country, the world is your oyster.
Now think of the most Googled product in that country.
Chances are you’re quite wrong.
In popular culture, we associate certain countries with certain products – beer in Germany, chocolates in Belgium, women in Saudi Arabia (a little dark humour to lighten the mood). However, it isn’t necessary that these are the products that people are really searching for.
Earlier this month, the cost estimating website, Fixr.com put together a map of the world with the most-Googled object in each country, using the autocomplete formula “How much does X cost in Y country.”
There were some absurd results. Made stranger still, with the ‘key’ the website set up to categorise each country.
Let’s start with health
There are a number of countries that have absurd results in this category.
According to results the most googled product in Iran is ‘Kidney’. Evidently, they have a chronic kidney problem that no one is paying attention to.
Mexico and South Korea have more pressing health concerns – tummy tucks and rhinoplasty (nose jobs) top their Google searches respectively.
For Australia and New Zealand, the health concerns are far more grave, with Australia searching for IVF and its neighbouring Kiwis scouring the internet for the cheapest Vasectomy.
Moving on to more pertinent things: Beer
Not surprisingly, there are a large number of countries that have searched for the cost of beer. Of these, the ones that stand out the most are, Estonia and Turkey. The most obvious results were Cape Verde, because what else would one do there? And Argentina.
Of the other food and beverage products, Coke was a big winner with over 3 countries searching for the price of the beverage. The French searched for ‘croissant’, because apparently they can’t get enough of twisty bread. The Croatians are hopped up on caffeine, and all that the Japanese really want to know is the price of a ‘watermelon’.
What constitutes recreation?
According to this study the only recreational activity that people are interested in, is sex. ‘Prostitute’ was the only search in the category, with seven countries looking up the price of a ‘hooker’.
While more countries in the world searched for the price of beer over the price of agriculture and forestry, some countries did indeed have their agricultural priorities in place. Topping the list of agriculture and forestry products were the humble camels, goats and cows.
No points for guessing which one India searched for. That’s right you guessed it, the most searched product in our country is the ‘cow’.
Now here is where I have a few doubts. I may not know much about religion, but I am fairly certain Indians consider the cow to be sacred. How then can we consider it to be a mere product? You don’t see people searching for the price of Jesus, now, do you?
Ah my favourite. The WTF category only appears in 2 continents. Although, after having a look at the map you will want to put a few more countries under it. Africa and Eurasia are the only two continents with WTF searches.
Let’s start with Eurasia. Think of a country with massive land mass, mostly barren, and a tendency to be defensive – that’s right, it’s Russia.
“To fly a mig” is the most searched product in Russia. For those of you who have been living under a rock – a MIG is a Russian fighter jet.
The next WTF country is Mauritania. It lies along the Western coast of Africa, and the people are extremely interested in the price of ‘slaves’. Yes, there is a country in the world that wants to know how much a slave would cost.
There are a number of countries with absurd searches, that also deserve to be mentioned.
Kuwait and UAE: ‘Lamborghini’ and ‘Ferrari’ respectively, because oil.
Switzerland: ‘Rolex’. What else would they be doing with all our black money?
Ecuador: ‘Panama Hat’. They are a stylish bunch.
USA: ‘Patent’. They would patent a rock if it meant they never have to work again.
The map below gives you a good overview of what the world is interested in.