A Year in Search: The Moments that Defined 2014

Every year, we reflect on the moments that made us smile from ear to ear, or kept us gripped to our screens, in our annual Year in Search. It was a year in which we were affected by the death of a beloved comedian, and watched world news unfold about an horrific plane crash and a terrifying disease. We were captivated by amazing goals, and had our fun with digital birds, a bucket of ice, and a goat simulator.

Watch our video to rediscover the events, people and topics that defined 2014:

All the world’s a stage
Nothing brings people together like sports, and 2014 had one of the biggest athletic events in recent memory. The World Cup in Brazil had its fair share of unforgettable moments and had people glued to their TVs and mobile devices all summer. From Luis Suarez’s bite heard around the world, to Tim Howard's superman performance vs. Belgium, to Germany’s incredible run to their fourth title, the competition certainly lived up to its reputation and topped the charts. In other sports news, Kiwis were proud of New Zealand’s 45 medals in this year’s Commonwealth Games -- though many people had to ask Google ask “Where is Glasgow”?

Goodbye, genie
“You're only given a little spark of madness, you mustn't lose it.” The passing of beloved comedian and actor Robin Williams shook the world, bringing many people online to search for more information and to remember—and putting Williams in the #2 spot on our New Zealand trends charts. There was also an uptick in searches related to depression and mental health in the days following his death. People revisited his iconic roles in movies like Aladdin and Dead Poets Society and found solace in gifs and memes that captured Williams’ spirit.

Into the unknown
How could a plane vanish? In the wake of the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, that question propelled the mystery to the global trends charts. As the investigation continued on the ground and online, people stayed hopeful for a happy ending despite the dim odds; searches for “mh370 found” outnumbered searches for “mh370 lost.”

Closer to home, we remembered and reflected on the life of Charlotte Dawson. We also searched for more information about the global Ebola crisis, Hunger Games star Jennifer Lawrence, and the emergence of the wildly successful (or annoying?) mobile game Flappy Bird. For the tech savvy, the iPhone 6 was a popular gadget this year, and the rebranding of Telecom New Zealand to Spark looks to have paid off.

Here’s the full list of our top 10 trending searches in New Zealand:
Trending Searches
1. FIFA World Cup
2. Robin Williams
3. Commonwealth Games
4. Malaysia Airlines
5. iPhone 6
6. Jennifer Lawrence
7. Charlotte Dawson
8. Flappy Bird
9. Spark
10. Ebola

You can find more on these top searches and more at google.co.nz/2014

In other news...
Kiwis were captivated by important global events ranging from Cyclone Ita to Scottish Independence, while also being distracted by news of a good-looking young man called Alex From Target. We looked to the stars to tune in to the Lunar Eclipse and focused our attentions back closer to home to monitor the development of Cyclone Lusi.

To better understand our world, we asked questions like What is ALS, Where is Sochi and wanted to learn how to draw (and even how to dream!). We also quickly searched for new digital lingo like Doge, Neknominate, Goat Simulator and Ello to get up to speed (just in case our friends asked us about these new crazes)...

Explore the stories from the year, one chapter at a time
On our Year in Search site you can take an in-depth look at the stories that made 2014 unforgettable. From the rise of the selfie, to understanding if we search for “how” more than “why,” each chapter shares a glimpse into the people and events that drove this year forward.
We've also made it easier to find the trending topics of the year directly from Google Search. For the first time, a simple search for [google 2014] will give you a peek at what made the top trending lists from around the world. And you can follow more insights from the year with #YearInSearch. So take a moment to appreciate what this year had to offer. It’ll be 2015 before you know it.

Trending Searches
1. FIFA World Cup
2. Robin Williams
3. Commonwealth Games
4. Malaysia Airlines
5. iPhone 6
6. Jennifer Lawrence
7. Charlotte Dawson
8. Flappy Bird
9. Spark
10. Ebola
How to… (Most Searched)
1. Draw
2. Meditate
3. Crochet
4. Screenshot
5. Kiss
6. Pronounce
7. Sing
8. Twerk
9. Knit
10. Dream
What is… ? (Most Searched)
1. Ebola
2. Love
3. Gluten
4. ALS
5. Sustainability
6. Illuminati
7. Science
8. Paleo
9. Tahini
10. Bipolar
News items of 2014 (Trending)
1. Malaysian Airlines Crash
2. Cyclone Lusi
3. Scottish Independence
4. Alex From Target
5. Ukraine News
6. Robin Williams Death
7. Ebola Outbreak
8. Wellington Earthquake
9. Cyclone Ita
10. Lunar Eclipse
Kiwis (Trending)
1. Lorde
2. Aaron Smith
3. Rachel Smalley
4. Lisa Lewis
5. Mark Hunt
6. Joseph Parker
7. Benji Marshall
8. Chris Cairns
9. Mona Dotcom
10. Stephen Donald
Global People (Trending)
1. Jennifer Lawrence
2. Michael Schumacher
3. Schapelle Corby
4. Iggy Azalea
5. Renee Zellweger
6. Todd Carney
7. Margot Robbie
8. Oscar Pistorius
9. Ellen Page
10. Rolf Harris
Recipes (Most Searched)
1. Pancake Recipe
2. Banana Cake Recipe
3. Chicken Recipes
4. Cupcake Recipe
5. Mince Recipes
6. Chocolate Cake Recipe
7. Lasagna Recipe
8. Brownie Recipe
9. Slow Cooker Recipes
10. Cheesecake Recipes
Where is… ? (Most Searched)
1. Gallipoli
2. Glasgow
3. Sochi
4. Tibet
5. Amsterdam
6. Nepal
7. Kurdistan
8. Kawau
9. Balclutha
10. Budapest
Digital / Internet Lingo (Trending)
1. Tinder
2. Goat Simulator
3. Bitcoin
4. Doge
5. Ello
6. Neknominate
7. Selfie
8. Pixelmon
9. Click Madness
10. Vines
Trending Searches: What was hot in 2014? The "trending" queries are the searches that had the highest spike in traffic over a sustained period in 2014 as compared to 2013.
Most Searched: What topped Google’s charts? The "most searched" queries are the most popular terms for 2014—ranked in order by volume of searches.