The most popular Google Search in 2016 was Pokémon Go, followed by iPhone 7 and Donald Trump. Yep, Pokémon Go & iPhone 7 beat Donald Trump, Prince & Powerball.
This year’s US election was the world’s most popular news story according to Google’s search trends. The Olympics and Brexit also made it into the top three. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were the top two most searched people on Google this year, with Bernie Sanders ranking a few spots behind at No. 6. Not surprisingly in an Olympic year, three athletes were among the most searched people in 2016: Michael Phelps, Simone Biles and Ryan Lochte.
It may seem like a distant memory now, but back in January a record-breaking jackpot made Powerball a hot topic on Google Search. Interest in Powerball spiked more than 166 percent, and it’s the top trending search for all of 2016.
Politicians and athletes
In a year with the Olympics and U.S. Election, it’s not surprising that nine of 10 top trending people of the year fell into one of these two categories — from Donald Trump to Michael Phelps and Hillary Clinton to Simone Biles. The one outlier? Steven Avery, the subject of Netflix’s “Making a Murderer” documentary.
Pokémon Go took Google Search— and the world — by storm this year. The addictive game appeared four times in the top 10 “How to…” questions, with “How to play Pokémon Go?” at the top. Clearly, searchers were eager to learn how to catch ‘em all!
Quinoa and Budweiser
From Big Macs to quinoa, Budweiser to Maui Brewing, Brussels sprouts to Buttercream Frosting, it’s clear from trending calorie, recipe and beer lists that the US is a country of many tastes. One of the new trending recipes this year? Snow cream, a dessert that’s the perfect winter treat with some fresh snow, sugar, milk and vanilla.
Slime and… mannequins
“How to make slime” isn’t a phrase we hear often — until now. Maybe it was the new “Ghostbusters” movie, but while voting and Pokémon dominated much of this year’s “How to…” list, one green, slimy question made its way up to #4. Meanwhile, on the “What is…?” list, the mannequin challenge is standing proud — and very, very still — at #7.
Dive into Google’s Year in Search 2016 to see Google Search trends all over the world.
Siobhan O’Shea is a freelance writer. She writes about pretty much everything but especially likes to bring readers’ attention to new tech, marketing, human behavior, and other oddities.