20 Years of Top Trending Google Searches
For decades, Google search has been a go-to source for many when looking up directions, keeping up with the news, or seeking information on new and unfamiliar topics.
Today, Google processes about 3.5 billion searches per day. Because of its dominant market share, Google holds a vast archive of keyword searches that, when analyzed, provide an interesting glimpse into the key themes that have captured the world’s attention over the years.
This graphic, using data from Google Trends, goes back 20 years and highlights some of the top keyword searches since 2001.
Our editorial team dug through hundreds of top trending search terms from global and U.S. data and hand-selected their top picks, which are featured in the graphic above.
Trending vs. Volume
Before diving in, it’s worth emphasizing how top trending searches differ from popular searches, which are measured by sheer volume.
Trending searches are terms that have recently spiked in popularity. They focus on growth rather than total volume, and in this dataset, trending terms gauge year-over-year growth.
A good example is Donald Trump, who popped up in the news cycle during the 2016 presidential campaign. After the election, interest in Trump remained high. But his name doesn’t pop up on the Google trends list after 2017, since by that point, search volume for Trump had plateaued.
What are the most popular Google search terms, by volume? To be honest, they’re slightly less interesting than the top trending searches — YouTube is number one, followed by Facebook, then WhatsApp web.
The Globalization of Search Trends
The people and topics featured in Google’s top trends lists evolves as time goes on, reflecting broader adoption of the internet (and Google Search) around the world over time. Early themes are tied to mainstream U.S. pop culture and tech trends.
As time goes on, social media and smartphone adoption increase the granularity and volume of searches, resulting in top trends that are more participatory, diverse, and global in nature.
One final variable to keep in mind is that Google itself began to share more detailed search highlights with each passing year.
Two Decades of Google Searches: Macro Insights
Now that we’ve explained what trending searches actually measure, let’s dig into some of the key themes that have emerged over the last two decades of Google searches.
① People Love Sports
Over the last 20 years, sports have remained a continuous trend.
Every four years, the World Cup shows up as a top trending keyword across the globe. The Olympics also makes a regular appearance, along with Olympic athletes like Michael Phelps and McKayla Maroney.
Although the U.S. dominates the list, particularly when it comes to athletes, there’s still a good variety of international sports that go viral, especially as time goes on. In the last two years, cricket, rugby, and soccer have all made the top five trending lists.
② The Emergence of Celebrity 2.0
Over time, you can also see a transition from the conventional celebrity to celebrity 2.0, also known as the social media celebrity.
In the early 2000s, pop culture icons like Britney Spears, Eminem, and Jennifer Lopez flooded the trending searches, and traditional media forms like TV shows and Movies dominated the mass media categories.
But by 2011, YouTube stars like Rebecca Black started to make their way on the trending search lists. And in 2014, Meme emerged as a top trending category.
This transition nods to a larger shift in media, as digital has gradually overtaken traditional media as the dominant form of entertainment.
③ Natural Disasters are Top of Mind
Natural Disasters are a key trend throughout this data set as well.
Hurricanes are a particularly trendy word, showing up almost half the time—in eight of the 20 years. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina ranked second in the most searched category across the globe.
It continued to gain global attention—by 2006, Hurricane Katrina was still in the top five trending news searches.
Dig Deeper into Trending Google Searches
Our team enjoyed sifting through 20 years of Google data, and we hope you enjoyed this blast from the past too. If you’d like to dive deeper, you can explore Google’s full dataset here.
Ranked: Which Countries Drink the Most Beer?
Global consumption exceeded 185 million kiloliters in 2021, enough to fill more than 74,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
Visualizing Global Beer Consumption
Global beer consumption exceeded 185 million kiloliters in 2021, enough to fill more than 74,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
So, which countries drink the most beer?
This graphic uses data from Kirin Holdings to compare global beer consumption by country. The Japanese company has been tracking beer consumption around the world since 1975.
Which Countries Drink the Most Beer?
Every region in the world increased its overall beer consumption in 2021 compared to 2020, with global consumption rising by 4%.
Asia holds a 31% share of the global beer market, remaining the world’s largest beer-consuming region over the last 14 years.
|Rank||Country||Total Consumption (thousand kl)||Market Share|
|7||🇬🇧 United Kingdom||4,608||2.5%|
China was the largest beer-consuming country for the 19th consecutive year.
The tradition of brewing and enjoying beer in China spans approximately nine millennia. Recent archaeological discoveries have revealed that as far back as 7000 BC, ancient Chinese communities were engaged in producing beer-like alcoholic beverages, primarily on a small and localized basis.
China was also the leading producer of beer in 2022, followed by the United States.
Beer Consumption Per Capita
When examining per capita beer consumption, Asia falls behind Europe. In fact, nine of the top 10 consumers of beer per capita are European nations.
The Czech Republic remains the leader in per capita beer drinking for the 29th year. In 2021, the average Czech drank more than 184 liters of beer.
|Rank||Country||Per Capita Beer Consumption (volume in liters)||Total Consumption (thousand kl)|
|1||🇨🇿 Czech Republic||184.1||1,969|
The Czech Republic is known for its affordable beer. In some parts of the country, beer can even cost less than bottled water.
Small Brewers and Technology
Beer production is expected to rise over the next decade, boosted by new smaller brewers, particularly in Western countries.
Investments have also been made in new technology to expedite the brewing process, including the utilization of ‘BeerBots’ capable of accelerating the fermentation process.
According to Future Market Insights, the global beer market is projected to be valued at $690 billion in 2023, rising to $996 billion by 2033.
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