year in search

The year in search 2019

With the recent New Year festivities still relatively fresh in the memory, it’s not too late to look back at 2019 and what the year meant for online search.

Annually, billions of searches are made worldwide via Google. To help understand searchers’ mindsets, the search giant’s Year in Search video highlights the events, people and moments which had the greatest impact worldwide every 12 months, and, crucially, which sustained a spike in web traffic.

Google Trends expert Kirstin Wright says: “The Year in Search also offers an insight into the biggest events in politics, news, sports and entertainment and even the latest lingo.”

Wright added that Google is determined to keep developing so that the world’s information is useful and as widely accessible as possible.

Big in 2019

In 2019, the most searched-for term was (drum roll)… Rugby World Cup. Interestingly, Brexit doesn’t even make it into the top 10 2019 search terms, and Rugby World Cup is followed by the Cricket World Cup, held on home turf in the UK last summer.

Indeed, the only newsy term to make Google’s top nine 2019 search terms is Notre Dame, in at number six following the fire of last April.

As well as sport, entertainment features extensively, with Game of Thrones, the HBO drama series Chernobyl and super-villain Thanos featuring in slots three through five respectively. Meanwhile, Avengers Endgame is at number 7, the iPhone 11 and Caitlyn Jenner and Joker in places 8, 9 and 10 respectively.

Results broken down

When Google breaks down its results into categories, a few more political terms emerge. For example in ‘how to’ results, ‘How to watch Champions League Final’ (and Game of Thrones) take the two top spots. But, in what was a busy electoral year, ‘How to vote in European elections’ and ‘How to register to vote’ also feature, at numbers 6 and 8 respectively.

Similarly, ‘What is the backstop?’ and ‘What is Article 50?’ are among the top ‘What is…’ terms that people entered into Google.

Among the most searched-for celebrities were Prince Andrew, Boris Johnson, Jeremy Kyle and Caitlyn Jenner.

Britain online

A new year is also a good time for reflection and to understand people’s search habits.

Regulator Ofcom’s Online Nation report states:

  • In 2019, some 87% of UK households had web access, with 82% using home broadband, 70% a 4G mobile service
  • Compared to the same survey in 2018, the proportion of adults who expressed an unprompted concern with aspects of internet use increased (from 59% to 78%)
  • Around 61% of adults reported having had a potentially harmful experience online over the last year
  • On average, a UK adult smartphone user spent just over two and a half hours a day online on their smartphone in September 2018, while just over half (51%) said their mobile phone was their most important device for accessing the internet
  • Over a third (35%) of overall time spent online in the UK is on sites which Google or Facebook own – although on average people spend a minute or longer daily on 15 different websites and apps
  • In 2018 online advertising generated £13.4bn, a rise of 13% since 2017, while Facebook and Google combined generated an estimated 61% of Britain’s online advertising income

Use January to reflect on the way your customers use the internet, and the best keywords for your brand. FPA is always here to help, contact us for more information.