Google Ireland 20 - techbuzzireland

2003 was the year that saw the Spire finally get completed on O’Connell street, the Special Olympics take place in Ireland and Google open their first office in Dublin with just five employees. This year Google celebrates twenty years of being in Ireland and to mark the occasion we’ve taken a look back at some of the big trends that have gripped the nation and had people turning to Google Search from 2003 right up to today.

While the weather over the last twenty years has been changeable our search habits haven’t followed suit. Searching on Google to find out what weather to expect in a country that can experience four seasons in one day, is what this weather obsessed nation search for most and nowhere more than in Carrick on Shannon, followed by Tramore and New Ross. This summer is turning out to be a mixed bag for weather but the last time people were pressing search on heatwave in significant numbers was 2018. ‘Heatwave’ was trending and the top related searches were:


  1. How long will the heatwave last?

  2. When will the heatwave end?

  3. Heatwave memes

  4. Met Eireann heatwave

  5. Dublin heatwave

From heatwaves to floods, in 2011 widespread flooding caused chaos around the country and even saw Dundrum Town Centre under water. The places most searched for at the time were:

  1. Dublin floods

  2. Dundrum flooding

  3. Meath flooding

  4. Monaghan floods

  5. Galway City flood


In 2015 Ireland left nameless storms behind as Met Eireann and the UK Met  launched the “Name Our Storms” campaign to much joy as the nation submitted names to be considered for storms for the upcoming year, some wackier than others. Since then Storm Ophelia, the worst storm Ireland had seen in 50 years, has been searched most often, followed by Storm Lorenzo and Storm Callum.


If Irish people aren’t turning to Google to find out about the weather they’re keeping up to date on the latest trending topics in sport. In 2012 Ireland searched for the Olympics more than any other year. The games were searched at nearly twice the rate of 2016 or 2021. In that same year Katie Taylor was the top-searched person in relation to the Olympics in Ireland and “When is Katie Taylor fighting in the Olympics” was the top trending question. In 2016 Annalise Murphy was the top-searched Irish Olympian during the games, while Michael Phelps was the top-searched Olympian overall.

The nation will no doubt be doing plenty of rugby related searches later this year but in 2009 ‘grand slam’ was a breakout search in March of that year after Ireland’s historic Six Nations win. This year Ireland vs. England was the top-searched match-up of the Six Nations tournament in Ireland and “What’s a grand slam in rugby” spiked +700% during the tournament.

Every day, millions of people turn to Google to ask questions, and looking back at the trending ‘How To’ and ‘What is’ questions since 2003 gives an insight into what the nation was searching for answers for over the last 20 years. Ireland’s  love for pancakes is in no doubt as ‘How to make pancakes’ regularly tops the trending searches. In 2014 ‘How to make loom bands’’ was the most searched question while in 2015 people turned to Google to find out ‘How to use new Snapchat’ .  The most searched ‘What is’ terms brings us back to some recent referenda , in 2008 ‘What is the Lisbon Treaty’ was the most searched ‘what is’ question and ten years later in 2018 it was ‘What is blasphemy’.

Some of the past twenty years’ searches for ‘definition’ give an insight to the cultural moments of the time. In 2013 ‘twerk ’ topped the list, ‘despacito’ was the most searched in 2017 and in 2019, the year impeachment proceedings began for Donald Trump ‘impeachment’ was the most searched definition term in Ireland.

Search can help you find a world of information – and the way people use Search can be a window into the world. Google has 25 years experience devoted to the science and the craft of building a search engine. That dedication has brought completely new ways to explore the world’s information over time — including visual searches with Lens or image-and-text multisearch.

By Jim O Brien/CEO

CEO and expert in transport and Mobile tech. A fan 20 years, mobile consultant, Nokia Mobile expert, Former Nokia/Microsoft VIP,Multiple forum tech supporter with worldwide top ranking,Working in the background on mobile technology, Weekly radio show, Featured on the RTE consumer show, Cavan TV and on TRT WORLD. Award winning Technology reviewer and blogger. Security and logisitcs Professional.

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