Aussies searched for Brexit, Bowie and banana bread
It’s that time of year again, when we look back at the last 12 months, 366 days, 527,040 minutes and reflect on the search trends and moments when we celebrated, mourned and wondered in 2016. It was the year we ‘caught ‘em all,’ grasped extraordinary political change, said goodbye to some greats – and made Harambe a hero.
From breaking news, to breaking Olympic records, and the UK’s break from Europe – the events of this year affected all of us in different ways. We turned to Search in the happy and hard moments to get the details, see the bigger picture and find our way forward.
So, to celebrate 2016, here’s a wrap-up of the five top topics that caught our attention and brought us together in Search:
We love a good game
2016 was a super sporty year, with many historic and unforgettable moments that kept us searching, cheering – and dancing with Michelle Jenneke. We supported our Olympians in Rio de Janeiro, placed our bets for Melbourne Cup and followed the scores for the Australian Open, AFL and Super Rugby. We missed buses and trains, ran into walls (and each other) as we tried to catch ‘em all when the Pokémon Go! craze took Australia and the world by storm.
Politics and personalities
Donald Trump beat Hillary for the second time this year – piping her at the post to take home the title of our most trending person, along with the presidency. Back on home soil, Pauline Hanson took out the title of Australia’s top trending politician, ahead of current Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. At times we were lost for words, but we were never short of questions – with many of us still trying to figure out exactly what a plebiscite is.
The oh-no and uh-oh moments
The shock and tragedies of the Dreamworld accident and Brussels attack had Aussies trying to comprehend what, how and why. We looked into the Mitchell Pearce incident, and watched cricketer Chris Gayle try and fail while interviewing with Mel McLaughlin on live TV. We also followed Tara Brown’s imprisonment in Lebanon closely, and fired up our opinions (and our Google searches) about controversial comments from Sonia Kruger. Together, we kept clicking for the Census site and wondered what was next when the UK voted out.
Saying goodbye to the greats
This year the world mourned three of music’s greatest with the passing of musicians David Bowie, Prince and Leonard Cohen. They weren’t the only legends headed for the stars, with Alan Rickman, Muhammad Ali and Gene Wilder also passing away this year. Closer to home, we bid farewell to journalist, commentator and broadcaster Rebecca Wilson, who lost her battle with cancer in October.
Calling mother nature
Aussies looked to understand natural events and disasters in 2016, with the total solar eclipse, Hurricane Matthew and the Zika virus landing in the lead Searches. We also discovered an unsung hero, with an outpouring of grief, Searches and a lifetime of memes following the death of Harambe. More broadly, we wondered why the sky is blue, the ocean is salty – and why biodiversity matters.
And that’s just a preview. To dive into the top trending terms of the year, check out Australia's full trending and most searched lists*:
Overall Searches (Trending)
Global People (Trending)
Sporting events (Trending):
How to…? (Most Searched)
What is..? (Most Searched)
Why is…? (Most Searched)
Recipes (Most Searched)
* Trending Searches: What was hot in 2016? The "trending" queries are the searches that had the highest spike in traffic over a sustained period in 2016 as compared to 2015.
* Most Searched: What topped Google’s charts? The "most searched" queries are the most popular terms for 2016—ranked in order by volume of searches.
Posted by Camilla Ibrahim, Communications Manager, Google Australia & New Zealand