Google’s Top Trending Searches of 2015, and Other Year-in-Review Lists

December 22, 2015

This article is included in these additional categories:

Digital | Mobile Phone | Radio | Search Engine Optimization | Social Media | Sponsorships | TV Audiences & Consumption | Youth & Gen X

Google-Top-Trending-Searches-in-2015-Dec2015Lamar Odom – the former NBA star and more recent subject of a reality TV series – emerged as the top trending search of the year both in the US and globally, says Google in its year in review. Unlike last year, when news events figured prominently in the top 10 trending searches, only the Paris attacks made this year’s list, which was otherwise heavy on movies and personalities.

[Note: Top trending searches do not refer to searches with the most volume, but rather those with the highest amount of traffic over a sustained period in comparison to 2014.]

Following Lamar Odom, the year’s top trending search topics in the US were:

  • Jurassic World;
  • American Sniper;
  • Caitlyn Jenner;
  • Ronda Rousey;
  • Paris;
  • Chris Kyle;
  • Fallout 4; and
  • Straight Outta Compton.

Eight of the top 10 search trends from the US also appeared on the list of top trending search terms globally. The only two top trending topics from the US that were not on the global list were Chris Kyle (#8) and Straight Outta Compton (#10), replaced by Charlie Hebdo (#2 on the global list) and Furious 7 (#6).

In terms of global news, Charlie Hebdo and Paris were the top trending topics, followed by Hurricane Patricia, Isis and Nepal.

Below, a brief selection of top-5 lists from around the world and in the US (trending search unless otherwise noted).

  • Consumer Tech – Global

1. iPhone 6S
2. Samsung Galaxy S6
3. Apple Watch
4. iPad Pro
5. LG G4

  • People – Global

1. Lamar Odom
2. Ronda Rousey
3. Caitlyn Jenner
4. Adele
5. Charlie Sheen

  • How to…? – US

1. How to use the new Snapchat update?
2. How to solve a rubix cube?
3. How to get legendary marks?
4. How to play Charlie Charlie?
5. How to upgrade to Windows 10?

  • Politicians – US

1. Donald Trump
2. Bernie Sanders
3. Carly Fiorina
4. Ben Carson
5. Ted Cruz

  • TV Shows – US

1. Better Call Saul
2. Jessica Jones
3. Fear the Walking Dead
4. Empire
5. American Horror Story: Hotel

Other Year-in-Review Lists

Of course, Google was only one of several properties to take a look at this past year. Below is a brief rundown of some of the highlights from other such lists, with a link to each.

  • The US Presidential Election was the most discussed topic on Facebook, followed by Marriage Equality, the Charleston Shooting & Flag Debate, Star Wars: The Force Awakens; and the Baltimore Protests. Disney Properties once again topped the list of most discussed places globally, ahead of Universal Studios Properties and Times Square, New York City. The full set of top 10 lists from Facebook can be accessed here.
  • The #iPad was the top tech hashtag on Twitter, followed by #SoundCloud and #Android, reports Twitter, while #jobs, #Quran and #Isis topped the list for news hashtags. Meanwhile, #PrayForParis, #JeSuisCharlie, #BlackLivesMatter, #HomeToVote, #LoveWins, #RefugeesWelcome, and #IStandWithAhmed were among the most influential moments on Twitter, based on a combination of factors including volume of conversation, global resonance and impact. The three most retweeted tweets of the year were each related to the band One Direction, per Twitter’s review, which can be found here.
  • The top search on Yahoo was Bobbi Kristina Brown, the deceased daughter of Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown, followed by iPhone and Caitlyn Jenner. The full lists are available here.
  • The Paris Attacks and the threat of ISIS turned out to be the top news story of 2015 on bing, followed by the EU refugee crisis and the earthquake in Nepal. Meanwhile, Caitlyn Jenner was the most-searched celebrity, per the bing Trends 2015 report.
  • The Las Vegas Tourism Authority was the brand with the top Sponsored Post on Tumblr, beating out the FDA, while Netflix had the top Sponsored Post for entertainment brands, according to Tumblr’s Year in Review, which can be accessed here.
  • Harper Lee’s “Go Set a Watchman” was the top 10 print book of 2015, per Nielsen’s look at the Tops of 2015: Entertainment, which also notes that “The Girl on the Train” was the top e-book and “Jurassic World” the top disc title.
  • In its “Tops of 2015: Digital” analysis, Nielsen reveals that Facebook was the top smartphone app of the year, ahead of a tightly-bunched YouTube, Facebook Messenger and Google Search. In fact, each of the top 10 apps belonged to either Facebook (3), Google (5), or Apple (2), with Facebook Messenger experiencing the largest year-over-year change (+31%) in unique users among the top 10.
  • Sports – specifically football – dominated the list of TV shows again in 2015, occupying 8 of the top 10 single telecasts of the year, per Nielsen. “NBC Sunday Night Football” was the top regularly scheduled primetime TV program, “Fargo” was the top time-shifted program by percentage change in viewers, AMC’s “The Walking Dead” was the top series on Twitter, and “The 57th Annual Grammy Awards” emerged as the top special on Twitter.
  • Finally, Nielsen’s “Tops of 2015: Audio” indicates that News/Talk was the leading radio format of the year, though Pop Contemporary Hit Radio led among listeners aged 18-34 and 25-54.

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