Each year, Google releases a list of the topics we’ve collectively searched for the most over the past 12 months. Each year, I try and see how many I can guess beforehand. This year, I got about half. How many can you get? [Pro tip: remember, people generally search for depressing/scary stuff more than pretty much anything else.]
Google released two lists this year — one for US search trends, and one for worldwide search trends. The lists are mostly the same, with just a few differences.
US Trending Searches: Robin Williams World Cup Ebola Malaysia Airlines Flappy Bird ALS Ice Bucket Challenge ISIS Ferguson Frozen Ukraine
Global Trending Searches: Robin Williams World Cup Ebola Malaysia Airlines ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Flappy Bird Conchita Wurst ISIS Frozen Sochi Olympics
The two lists are strikingly similar, save for the global list leaning toward Conchita Wurst and the Sochi Olympics in place of Ferguson and Ukraine. Interesting to note: this is the first year in a few where an Apple product didn’t make the cut. (2010 had iPad; 2011 featured both iPhone 5 and iPad 3; 2012 had iPad 3 again; 2013 had the iPhone 5S in spot #2) Also of note: as far as I can recall, Flappy Bird is the first mobile app to crack Google’s top 10.
Having a wildly successful app is one thing — but an app that becomes one of the most searched for things around the entire world? Achievement unlocked. (Google notes that 2048 and Flappy Bird, both one-man projects, beat out Destiny, the most expensive game ever developed.)
(Note: this list is based on year-versus-year search trends; it’s about how popular a topic is this year versus last, not raw frequency. If it were just raw frequency, Google says the most popular searches wouldn’t change much.)