Google has published its annual Year in Search, showing the events, people and questions on Internet users’ minds over the last 12 months.
As has been the case in previous years, filtering the results on UK searches reveals us to be a sport-loving nation. The top two searches overall were Rugby World Cup in first and Cricket World Cup in second, no doubt helped by England’s runs to the final of both.
Entertainment features strongly too, with two TV series (Game of Thrones and Chernobyl) and two movies (Avengers Endgame and Joker) appearing in the top 10, along with Avengers character Thanos. Only one nonfictional person (Caitlyn Jenner) and one news event (the Notre Dame fire) made the list, and the release of the iPhone 11 was also one of the UK’s biggest searches.
In ‘How to…?’ searches, sport also took the top spot, with more Brits wanting to know how to watch June’s UEFA Champions League Final between Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur than anything else. The ‘What is…?’ questions give an insight into people’s curiosity over the year and show Area 51 to be the main mystery to Google users. The UK’s current political atmosphere is also evident here, with ‘the backstop’, ‘Article 50’ and ‘Article 13’ all on the list.
Elsewhere, the ‘People’ list is an odd mix of showbiz (Caitlyn Jenner, Tommy Fury), politics (Boris Johnson) and, above all, people who were involved in 2019 controversies (Prince Andrew, Jeremy Kyle, R. Kelly).
The timing of the review means that Google trends have not really felt the effects of tomorrow’s general election and the inevitable fallout from it, although ‘how to register to vote’ is the eighth biggest ‘how to…? ‘ question.
A look at the global results reminds us that the UK is only a small portion of Google’s world traffic, with the top three searches being the India vs. South Africa cricket match, the late actor Cameron Boyce and the South American football competition Copa America. None of these were on the UK radar at all.