‘Buffet’ a Top Search Trend During Ramadhan

The weeks leading up to Ramadhan had Malaysians searching on their desktops, mobile phones and tablets for many things related to the holy month and the upcoming Hari Raya celebration.

So, what was trending on Google Search during this time.

On google.com.my, Malaysians searched using the term 'buffet' during Ramadhan more than at any other time of the year. No other period gets more searches using that term than during this period.

Searches for the term ‘buffet’ increased by 64% from 2009 - 2012 (2012 being partial results), showing that Malaysians are more interested in buffets than any other type of dining styles during this period.

Interestingly, searches for the term ‘Ramadhan buffet’ also increased by a whopping 164% (2012 being partial results) from 2009 - 2012. This confirms that it is particularly the ‘Ramadhan buffet’ that is the crowd draw year-after-year with a large number of Malaysians searching for information on where to break their fast; with restaurants presumably drawing the largest number of customers to their buffet promotions than at any other time of the year.

Using Google’s Insights for Search free tool that helps to provide better insight into online consumer search behaviour, we also compared ‘hotel buffet’ and ‘Ramadhan buffet’ to see which search phrase was more popular over time.

As it turns out, search interest in 'Ramadhan buffet' was 120% higher than 'hotel buffet' between 2009-2012 (taking the highest peak from each term). In other words, consumer searches for ‘Ramadhan buffet’ during the Ramadhan period is 2.2 times higher than ‘hotel buffet’.

This is most relevant for example for hotels and restaurants, as they can be comfortable skewing their online and offline marketing efforts towards those consumers who are mainly searching for ‘Ramadhan buffet’ during this time.

“Businesses and marketers can now predict future trends that are resonating with their target audience, focus their marketing campaigns and also monitor the impact of their marketing efforts,” said Sajith Sivanandan, Google Malaysia’s country manager. “Based on search trends, businesses can actively target customers at the right time when the customers are actively searching online and are seeking to make a purchase.”

For businesses and marketers, this means the ability to test their products and services to reach audiences with relevant messages, identify emerging trends and discover opportunities, anticipate demand and seasonality, understand geographic distribution and optimise campaigns or keyword development.

Note: The numbers on the graph reflect how many searches have been done for a particular term relative to the total number of searches done on Google over time. They do not represent absolute search volume numbers, because the data is normalised and presented on a scale from 0-100.