Here's your 2014 Google Zeitgeist, better known as the last 12 months in Google Search. The company does this every year, and it's always fascinating because search sheds light, however disappointingly, onto what the heck people on earth are thinking about. Because when you want to know more about something, you Google it.
As with the 2014 trending YouTube videos we listed last week, these searches are "trends", which don't necessarily reflect the most searched terms overall. These are the terms that exploded in popularity at certain times.
The overall search trends in the United States and globally look pretty similar. They include some of the most shocking and exciting news events of the year: The death of Robin Williams, the Ebola outbreak, the Malaysia Airlines disasters, and of course the World Cup. You'll note that Ukraine and Ferguson trend in the United States but not globally.
Global Trending Searches
- Robin Williams
- World Cup
- Malaysia Airlines
- ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
- Flappy Bird
- Conchita Wurst
- Sochi Olympics
Dead people are the only ones to cause a stir. The living dominate the list of trending global people searches. We search for people like Jennifer Lawrence and Matthew McConaughey because we love them. But others show up on this list because they have fallen into disgrace: I'm looking at you Donald Sterling.
Wait. Where is Taylor Swift?
I'll end on digital/internet lingo. The trending list includes obvious trendsetters like the Tinder, but others are a little more surprising.
As a whole the trending searches paint a picture of humanity in 2014 that's paradoxically both unsurprising and interesting. We can't defy our nature: Year after miserable year we're driven to hysteria by the same damn things, and every year it's fun to look back and see what drove us mad during the preceding 12 months. There's way more on the Google Search Trends page so go check it out. [Google]