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Dead celebrities and the World Cup topped Google’s Year in Search for 2018

BRB, changing the site to a gossip column.

google search
Image: Press Gazette

Every year, Google takes a look back at the year, releasing its “Year in Search” lists of the top search terms tapped into Google’s search engine. With how tumultuous 2018 has been, catastrophes, celebrities, sports, and elections were on everyone’s minds and searches related to these trended big.

It wouldn’t surprise anyone that the biggest sporting event of the year, the World Cup, topped both the Global and News categories. Soccer (or football as the rest of the world knows it) is the most popular sport worldwide, with an estimated 4 billion fans.

More top search results from 2018

The world was entranced by the Royal Wedding in May, with the new Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, being the most-searched person in the world.

With new beginnings, so come endings. Searches for notable celebrity deaths were also ranking high in 2018, with the Swedish DJ Avicii having the unfortunate honor of heading up that category. Both his fans and Mac Miller’s flooded Google’s search engine with searches and their tears. Beloved Marvel creator Stan Lee was a close third, although he’s number 1 in my heart.

Fortnite took the gaming world by storm and searches for GIFs showing the various in-game dances trended throughout the year, especially the “Floss.” Red Dead Redemption 2 and Fallout 76 also topped the lists, presumably for different reasons with the disparity in their review scores.

Elections and their results were also a big feature of this year’s search terms. Midterm elections happened in the USA, Pakistan had a general election, and multiple by-elections happened in Canada.

A silver lining

With all the bad news this year, Google also showed that “good” was a trending topic. In a companion blog post to the search results, Simon Rogers from the Google News Lab giving some context to the year just gone.

In a year when we said goodbye to many cultural icons, like Anthony Bourdain and Aretha Franklin, people searched for how they, too, could influence the next generation, asking ”how to be a good role model.” Other notable searches for ‘good’ were voters in the US midterms asking “how to register to vote,” and searchers wondering “how to be a good role model” after influential celebrities passed on.

Tech might have gotten top-10 lists for certain countries like Canada and Singapore, where Apple products and video games were in the most searched terms, but there was no global list for tech this year. That makes a change from prior years, where the iPhone 8 and X, and Bitcoin, made the global list. Back in 2016, it was the iPhone 7 and Pokemon Go dominating the global searches.

Do these results surprise you? What surprised you the most? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Maker, meme-r and unabashed geek. My hobbies include photography, animation and hoarding Reddit gold.

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