When you have a question about something, chances are you head over to Google and look up the answer, whether it’s for a trivia question or if you’re seeking out more details on breaking news. Google keeps track of what its users are looking for and releases an annual report showing what we all searched for over the course of the year. Google’s Year in Search 2017 reveals some very interesting trends.
You might recognize some of your own searches in these results, which cover everything from celebrity scandals to natural disasters and hot new smartphones.
Google lets you break the data down by global searches or by country. We’ll look at both the wider world and what happened in the U.S.
What the world searched for
People around the globe followed along online as devastating Hurricane Irma, the strongest of its kind since 2005, swept across the Atlantic leaving a trail of destruction in August and September. “Hurricane Irma” was Google’s top-trending global search for 2017. Apple made a big splash by claiming the next two spots with “iPhone 8” and “iPhone X,” the latest iPhone devices that were announced with much fanfare in September.
The rest of the list of top search terms is an interesting mix of celebrity names, including Prince Harry’s fiance Meghan Markle, along with searches for a toy fad and the controversial Netflix show “13 Reasons Why.”
Google’s top 10 global searches for 2017:
1. Hurricane Irma
2. iPhone 8
3. iPhone X
4. Matt Lauer
5. Meghan Markle
6. 13 Reasons Why
7. Tom Petty
8. Fidget Spinner
9. Chester Bennington
10. India National Cricket Team
What the U.S. searched for
Google’s list of top-trending search terms in the U.S. has some crossover with the global list but covers terms with much more a regional interest. Americans were just as obsessed with fidget spinners as the rest of the world, but they also had their search sights set on uniquely U.S. occurrences like the Super Bowl and the death of former football star Aaron Hernandez.
As with global searches, “Hurricane Irma” tops the list, but the tragic Las Vegas shooting and the much-hyped Mayweather vs. McGregor fight also appear in the top 10.
Google’s top 10 U.S. searches for 2017:
1. Hurricane Irma
2. Matt Lauer
3. Tom Petty
4. Super Bowl
5. Las Vegas shooting
6. Mayweather vs. McGregor fight
7. Solar eclipse
8. Hurricane Harvey
9. Aaron Hernandez
10. Fidget Spinner
These results give a peek into the hearts and minds of Americans. We mourned rock star Tom Petty, followed the epic journey of the solar eclipse across the nation from coast to coast, tracked Hurricane Harvey as it headed toward Texas, and followed along with the heart-breaking developments in the October mass shooting in Las Vegas that left 58 people dead and hundreds injured.
Google’s trending searches tell tales of tragedy and triumph, though we still didn’t ignore the more frivolous side of life as many people searched for fidget spinners. The fidget-spinner fad may be waning as we head into 2018, but many of these other searches will remain strong in the public memory.
The fun side of searches
It wasn’t all just about serious searches in 2017. Google’s trends also show that Starbucks’ “Unicorn Frappuccino calories” was of big interest to the calorie-curious while the New York Yankees reigned supreme at the top of sports-team searches. When it comes to music, everyone wanted to groove out to “Despacito.” And if you worked up an appetite with all that dancing, you might have looked for a beef stroganoff recipe.
Golden retrievers beat out poodles for the top U.S. dog-breed search, though the plucky Pembroke Welsh corgi came in third. The DIY crowd checked out “how to make slime” and “how to make solar eclipse glasses.” And, naturally, Apple was the top tech obsession with iPhone 8 and iPhone X searches beating out Nintendo’s Switch gaming platform.
What trends will 2018 bring us? We will have to wait for the big news to develop throughout the year, but chances are the U.S. will once again be searching for the perennial favorite “Super Bowl” in 2018.
Google is tracking your searches...but you don’t have to let it
If you’re concerned about online privacy, then you can check out ways to shield Google’s eyes from your internet searches.