How We Googled In 2015

Google Search

At the end of the year, Google publishes several ‘top ten’ lists of the most popular search terms. Taking out the obvious and non-family friendly ones (like ‘sex’ and ‘porn’), what do we have?

Here are the top ten general searches:

  1. Lamar Odom
  2. Jurassic World
  3. American Sniper
  4. Caitlyn Jenner
  5. Ronda Rousey
  6. Paris
  7. Agario
  8. Chris Kyle
  9. Fallout 4
  10. Straight Outta Compton

According to Mashable’s review, these major search terms are populated by celebrities, games and movies. “Paris” is probably (assuming people were searching about the terror attacks) the only topical news term to make the big list. Interestingly, there’s no “Star Wars” or “The Force Awakens” yet.

Looking at people only, Google provides the following:

  1. Lamar Odom
  2. Caitlyn Jenner
  3. Ronda Rousey
  4. Donald Trump
  5. Ruby Rose
  6. Charlie Sheen
  7. Brian Williams
  8. Rachel Dolezal
  9. Adele
  10. Josh Duggar

A popular Google search phrase is “what is…?” Surprisingly a very basic mathematics question comes top of this list:

  1. What is 0 divided by 0?
  2. What is Ashley Madison
  3. What is a buckeye?
  4. What is the Charlie Charlie Challenge?
  5. What is a lunar eclipse?
  6. What is Ebola?
  7. What is ISIS?
  8. What is red nose day?
  9. What is a blue moon?
  10. What is listeria?

Here we get some “newsy” stuff, like ISIS and Ebola.

In terms of entertainment beamed into our homes, the top TV shows are:

  1. Better Call Saul
  2. Jessica Jones
  3. Fear the Walking Dead
  4. Empire
  5. American Horror Story: Hotel
  6. Game of Thrones
  7. Daredevil
  8. Scream Queens
  9. Quantico
  10. Lip Sync Battle

The television shows are universally from the U.S.

Of final selection for The Latest News (there are many more Google top tens), is politicians:

  1. Donald Trump
  2. Bernie Sanders
  3. Carly Fiorina
  4. Ben Carson
  5. Ted Cruz
  6. Deez Nuts
  7. John Boehner
  8. Marco Rubio
  9. Jimmy Carter
  10. Justin Trudeau

Given his sometimes controversial statements, it is perhaps unsurprising that Donald Trump, erm, “trumps” the list.

Looking at these lists provides a useful indicator of what the key topics and interests are of the world’s population.

About the author

Tim Sandle

Dr. Tim Sandle is a chartered biologist and holds a first class honours degree in Applied Biology; a Masters degree in education; and has a doctorate from Keele University.