As 2018 comes to a close, the annual Google Year in Search results provide a telling snapshot of what caught the interest of the Irish over the last 12 months. We are a bunch of nosey and inquisitive fcukers and just like to know what is going on and use Google to do the rest.. Not only for just random search on news but “How to….” is a very interesting topic to and reveals what have been looking for this year.
The FIFA World Cup was Ireland’s top-trending Google search for 2018, despite Ireland’s absence in the tournament, with soccer’s quadrennial competition trending most strongly in our searches for 2018. Staying with sports, the epic Ireland vs New Zealand match last month – which saw us overcome the world’s best team for the first time at home – was our 7th overall top trending search in this year (coming 2nd in sports searches overall). But in terms of quantity, golf tournaments took three of the top 10 spots in sport, horse racing took two spots, and tennis and MMA shared one spot each.
Musical tastes were reflected in the appearance of Avicii as our second top-trending topic for 2018. The electronic dance musician – famous for the song “Wake Me Up” – sadly passed away in April of this year, and his popularity on this island was reflected in our increased Googling of his name at that time. Dolores O’Riordan, the Irish icon and former lead singer of The Cranberries, was another musical notary that also passed too early this year – she was our 5th top-trending Google search in 2018. Finally, the perennial curiosity that is Eurovision was our 6th top-trending musical topic overall, driven no doubt by Ireland’s first inclusion in the final for five years.
Ireland’s ambivalent approach to healthy eating was reflected in our food-related searches this year: searches for healthy “Operation Transformation” recipes were closely followed by our less healthy interest in cake recipes. Perhaps guilty feelings lead to “healthy dinner recipes” coming 3rd in the rankings, before cravings set in again with “bread recipes” occupying 4th spot. Interestingly, “vegan recipes” made their first appearance in Google’s top trending search list, perhaps indicating a move away from an Ireland raised on black pudding and rashers.
Politically, we were inspired to ask “how to register to vote” (1st in the “how to…” list) as well as “what is blasphemy?”, “what is the backstop?” and “what is the 8th amendment?” (1st, 3rd & 5th in the “what is…?” list” respectively). But the seriousness of politics this year was mitigated by our love for escapist films, with the musical melodrama A Star Is Born taking top spot in the movie rankings, and also registering as the only movie to appear in the overall top ten list. Comic book adaptations take four of the top ten movie spots, hinting at a juggernaut of a trend that doesn’t show signs of slowing, with musicals occupying three spots and drama/thrillers rounding off the list, including the Irish Famine-based movie Black 47 in fourth spot.
Finally, former actress and now new Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, made an unsurprising appearance in the top list this year, coming in at third place, while Google’s “How to…?” list gives an interesting insight into the minutiae of our lives in Ireland over the past year. We asked “how to build an igloo” and “how to bleed radiators” in response to February’s Beast from the East, but also “how to get rid of fruit flies” during the summer’s heatwave. The perennial “how to lose weight” was in third spot and our tech worries centred around “how to get old snapchat back” and “how to turn off automatic updates” … perhaps, in terms of technology at least, the Irish have shown that we don’t like change?