What Our 2015 Google Searches Reveal About Us

You might expect "fluff" to dominate the top Internet searches of the year, but that's not necessarily the case.

What Our 2015 Google Searches Reveal About Us Photo (cc) by theanthonyryan

The most popular search item of 2015 is the name of a former NBA player and reality TV star, according to Google.

Despite the heightened interest in Lamar Odom, the estranged husband of Khloe Kardashian who was hospitalized after a drug overdose at a Nevada brothel, one Google editor says the top search items of 2015 show we’re interested in more than entertainment or sports.

Simon Rogers, data editor for Google News Lab, tells NPR that 2015 has been interesting “because normally you might expect that the big searches are going to be … the fluffier end of the news cycle, entertainment or sports or whatever.”

Rogers continues:

“Actually, what we’ve seen are real hard news stories, coming top in a lot of the kind of categories that we’ve been looking at this year. There were nearly a billion searches around the Paris attacks in the days around those events.

“And those huge news stories like the refugee crisis, and even the Chinese stock market crashing — all those stories have really generated a lot of search interest over the year, as well as ‘Jurassic World’ or Caitlyn Jenner or Lamar Odom.”

The day of the terrorist attacks in Paris, for example, saw the highest search interest for the French city in the history of Google, the tech company reports.

Still, the year’s most popular Google search items contain more entertainment and sports than the year’s most popular Facebook posts, which include multiple terrorist attacks and other violent news events.

In fact, the 10 most popular Google searches overall include three movies and two video games:

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

Other popular searches include:

  • Most popular calorie search item: Toasted Graham Latte
  • Beer: Bud Light Mixxtail
  • Cocktail: Sangria
  • Car: 2016 Chevrolet Malibu
  • Music artist: Adele
  • Politician: Donald Trump
  • Natural event: Hurricane Patricia
  • Recipe: Pumpkin seed recipes

What do you make of the most common search queries of 2015? Sound off in our Forums. It’s the place where you can speak your mind, explore topics in-depth, and post questions and get answers.

Karla Bowsher
Karla Bowsher
I’m a freelance journalist and former newspaper reporter who has covered both personal and public finance. I've worked for a top 50 major metro daily and a community newspaper as well as ... More


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