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Year In Review: What The World Searched For In 2015

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2015 is coming to an end, and its time to look back at the Year In Review.

Google is the first online destination the world heads towards when it comes to finding information. But have you ever wondered what the others are searching for? Here is a list of top 10 topics that the world searched for in 2015 as per Google Trends ’ “A Year in Search 2015”

1. Terrorist attacks on Paris : 897m+

The terrorist attack on Paris shook the world like no other event did. On November 13, 2015, armed terrorists attacked the stadium, theatre, restaurant and cafe in the heart of the capital of France, killing 130 people and wounding 368. As the news flowed in, the world was in shock, and a total of over 897 million searches were made on Google to know more about the deadliest attacks on France since World War II. In fact, this was the second attack on Paris in 2015, the first being a deadly attack in January on the offices of Charlie Hebdo, a French magazine.

Oscar Awards

2. The 87th Academy Awards 2015 : 406m+

The Academy Awards have been the favorite event of the world year-on-year, and this year was no different. A total of over 406 million searches were made in the days before and after the gala event. People frantically searched for the nominees, people who would be attending, the probable winners, and the actual winners on the day of the event. Even after the events were over, people continue to search for the best movie “Birdman”, Best Actor Eddie Redmayne and Best Actress Julianne Moore.

3. ICC Cricket World Cup: 323m+

The 11th edition of the ICC cricket World Cup held in Australia and New Zealand in February – March 2015 attracted over 323 million searches. From basic questions like “how many balls in an over” to predict if questions like “who will win the World Cup”, the world asked everything. The event made cricket one of the most searched in the world for these two months, with almost all of the top 10 searches being related to cricket.

ICC Cricket World Cup 2015

4. Rugby World Cup: 246m+

Over 246 million searches were made to know more about this event which saw the 20 best rugby teams slug it out against each other for the cup. The fact that Sonny Bill Williams of the New Zealand National Men’s Rugby Union Team (nicknamed All Blacks) gave away his winner’s medal to a young fan became one of the most viewed moments in sports history.

5. FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015 : 113m+

The seventh edition of the women’s football World Cup generated a lot of interest across the world. In fact, rarely such an interest has been seen in a women’s sport in recent times. The teams were in their peak forms and quite a few stars emerged from this tournament. The world showed its interest by conducting more than 113 million searches on Google for getting information about the players and teams, match reviews, live updates and even about the coaches and referees. Google reports that the search interest in the 2015 tournament was almost double that of the previous before World Cup held in 2011.

2015 FIFA Women's World Cup logo

6. Queen Elizabeth: 100m+

This year, Queen Elizabeth became the longest reigning queen in history. She was crowned in 1953, and it makes her the longest reigning monarch in Britain as well. Over 100 million searches about her per conducted across the world. The most popular questions asked were “How old is Queen Elizabeth II?”, “How long has Queen Elizabeth reigned?” and “What does the Queen do?”.

7. Nepal earthquake: 85m+

Tragedy struck Nepal on 25 April 2015 in the form of a devastating earthquake which measured 8.1 on the Richter scale, and a series of aftershocks in the coming months. An estimated 9000 people died in the earthquake. Apart from devastating several towns including the Capital city Kathmandu, it also triggered a landslide on Mount Everest killing many mountaineers and Sherpas. It also destroyed several historical monuments across Nepal, striking a major blow to the tourism industry.

The world responded by offering to help and sought information from Google. A total of 85 million+ searches was made, and questions like “How can I donate to the Nepal earthquake?” and “How do I volunteer in Nepal?” were asked.

8. Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens : 155m+

This was one of the most awaited events in this Year In Review. Star Wars has been the world’s favorite movie franchise for decades now. Predictably, the release of the latest episode on December 18, 2015 stirred up an unforeseen frenzy among its billions of fans. Not less than 155 million searches were made on Google. The world wanted to get first-hand information on a variety of matters, including the characters, the expected story line, trailers and behind the scenes videos. Most first timers even sought guidance on “What order should I watch ‘Star Wars’?”. This huge number of searches made this episode the most searched Star Wars movie in a decade.

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9. Cecil the lion: 32m+

Cecil was a resident of Zimbabwe and also the subject of a research study being conducted by the University of Oxford. He was famed for his appearance, and his friendly demeanour towards humans. He was a major tourist attraction as well. So it is not surprising that when an irresponsible hunter killed Cecil just for his own enjoyment, the world reacted unanimously. Over 32 million searches were made trying to know more about Cecil, why he was killed, and what the identity of the hunter is. People also took to social media in a big way and bashed the killer of Cecil, a dentist from the USA named Dr Walter Palmer. The man reportedly paid $ 50,000 to a professional hunter for helping him to kill the innocent Cecil the lion.

10. The Syrian refugee crisis: 23m+

The last event in this Year In Review is a long running crisis.

Thousands of civilians are fleeing from Syria due to a fierce civil war raging in the country. In 2015 they sought refuge in the various countries of the European Union, striking up a huge humanitarian crisis that the countries have had to cope up with. In the urgency to leave the country, the refugees are taking dangerous risks. In April 2015, five boats containing an estimated 2000 refugees capsized in the Mediterranean Sea, killing not less than 1200 people. A bigger tragedy that shook the world was when the body of a three-year old Syrian refugee named Aylan Kurdi was recovered on the shores of a beach in Turkey. It was later found out that the boy along with his family was trying to reach Canada in an attempt to flee Syria.

The Syrian refugee crisis drew 23 million searches on Google and the number continues to grow as the crisis continues.

Other Notable Mentions:

Apart from these top 10 in this Year In Review, a few other events like the economic crisis in Greece, the meltdown of the stock markets in China, and the Volkswagen emission scandal also trended for a long time. Overall, it has been an eventful year, and let’s see what awaits us in 2016.

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We will conclude this Year In Review with a video that Google has released as part of its “A Year in Search 2015” feature.

Source: Google Trends ’ “A Year in Search 2015

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