So this is Christmas, and what have you done? Well, Google will tell you exactly what you’ve done this year in its annual search round up, 'Year in Search'.
With (nearly) 12 months' worth of data on an estimated 3.5 billion daily searches worldwide, Google has a pretty good idea of what the world wants to know about. That’s an estimated 1.2 trillion searches a year. And yes, I googled that.
A Royally Good Year
Unsurprisingly, the World Cup dominated 2018. Searches worldwide rocketed up over the long hot summer, as Russia hosted the biggest sporting event of the year and Gareth Southgate tried his best to bring it home.
Searches for Avicii and Mac Miller also featured in the global top 5 following the sad news of both musicians’ deaths in 2018. Stephen Hawking was also one of the most searched people this year following his death in March, living a staggering 50+ years longer than his estimated life expectancy upon his ALS diagnosis.
However, the most searched for person, both in the UK and worldwide, was Meghan Markle, as the ex-Suits star became a princess when she married Prince Harry. The Royal Wedding sparked interest from all corners of the globe, with Meghan Markle searches peaking in Trinidad & Tobago and Jamaica of all places. The UK came in a mere 6th place.
The Royal Wedding came top in UK news events, closely followed by the Royal baby – or perhaps babies, with Prince Louis entering the world in April followed by Harry and Meghan announcing their pregnancy in October. If you didn’t know who Meghan Markle was this time last year, you most certainly do now.
Also definitely worth a mention in the news events category are the Spice Girls, coming in 5th place as the announcement of their comeback caused chaos (the good kind) amongst 90s kids across the nation. Turns out everybody still wants to zig-a-zig-ah.
The ‘what is…?’ category is always an interesting one, with millions of people turning to Google to answer their big questions.
In the UK, people were understandably wondering what bitcoin is, following the cryptocurrency’s surge in 2018. ‘What is GDPR?’ (Ryan can tell you that) was also high on the list following the new, much tighter data protection legislation coming into play back in May.
The topic of nerve agents hit the news back in March when Sergei and Yulia Skripal were poisoned in Salisbury, with people wanting clarification from Google as to ‘what is a nerve agent?’.
Worryingly, the 5th most searched for ‘what is…?’ of 2018 in the UK was ‘what is the Commonwealth?’. With the British public being asked to vote on the future of the country on the international scene, this is perhaps slightly alarming.
Following the ‘what is...?’ is the ‘how to...’ category. ‘How to floss dance’ features in the top 5, as 2018’s viral dance craze had people going a bit crazy, especially if they couldn’t figure out how to pull it off properly.
How to delete Instagram and Facebook also both featured in the top 10, along with ‘how to get the old snapchat back’ as regular snappers became infuriated with the redesign that was forced upon them earlier in the year. Fear not, we are reassured this was rolled-back and snappers are at peace again.
To round it all off in true Google style, this 2 minute video has been shared with the world, rounding up the year and centring around all things good from the past 12 months, as in their words, ‘good things are worth searching for.’
Watch this space to see what 2019 delivers…