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The Most-Searched Terms on Google in 2016

The Year in Google Searches
The Year in Google Searches
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How many times did you search for terms on the Internet last year?

Google’s search engine performed 1.2 trillion searches in 2016.

Google Trends, part of the American company, kept records of the most popular search terms. From the Summer Olympic Games to terrorist attacks to the presidential election in the United States, 2016 was filled with news.

Many of us turned to search engines for more information about the news or about fun subjects, such as ice cream, popular culture and television programs. But have you ever wondered what everyone else was searching for online?

Google Trends has developed a list of Breakout Trends. It shows the most popular online searches. You can see which terms people searched for most on Google by month, Overall Most Popular, and by area.

Click on a listed search term to learn more about the term, such as trending over time, interest by city or state, and related subjects or queries. You can compare one search term to another to see the number of hits for both terms. You can also add a third search term for comparison.

Google Trends offers charts, maps and other images so you can compare the search results for each term. In addition, you can see the results for 2016 or change the dates to study trends over time.

Overall Most Popular Search Terms on Google in 2016

On Google, the most popular search terms worldwide were:

  • Donald Trump
  • Powerball
  • Prince
  • David Bowie
  • Pokémon
  • Hillary Clinton
  • France
  • Ramadan
  • Orlando
  • Academy Awards
  • Chicago Cubs

You can amend the results by People, Places, Things and Ideas to see the most popular term for each grouping.

By Region

According to Google Trends, these are the most searched terms on Google by region in 2016:

Terms Most Searched on Google in 2016
Terms Most Searched on Google in 2016

Click the picture of a globe in Google Trends to see a world map of regions represented by gray bars. Click on a bar to see the most searched term for that country in 2016.

Google Trends World View
Google Trends World View

You can also find top 2016 searches for each country on Google Trends or see a list of most popular searches worldwide.

Google Trends also shows the most popular searches by subject, including:

  • Global news
  • People
  • Consumer Tech
  • Global Sporting Events
  • Losses
  • Movies
  • Musicians
  • TV Shows

This video from Google has images of many news events from 2016.

US Google Searches

You also might wonder about the popularity of search terms in different American states. The website has a map with state-by-state comparisons.

Google Terms by US State
Google Terms by US State

I’m Dorothy Gundy.

Carolyn Nicander Mohr wrote this report for VOA Learning English. George Grow was the editor.

Were you surprised by the terms that were searched most often on Google? Did you check your region to see which terms were most searched? Were there any terms you thought would be on the list but were not?

Share your thoughts in the Comments Section below or on our Facebook page.


Words in This Story

trend - n. a general direction of change : a way of behaving, proceeding, etc., that is developing and becoming more common

click - v. to press a button on a mouse or some other device in order to make something happen on a computer

query - n. a question or a request for information about something

according to - prep. as stated, reported, or recorded by (someone or something)

* State Map of Googled Terms courtesy of Estately Blog. Used with permission.