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20 Years of Top Trending Google Searches

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Infographic showing images of search trends on Google over the past 20 years

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.

Happy searching.

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Ranked: Which NBA Team Takes Home the Most Revenue?

The Celtics and the Mavericks are the fourth and fifth highest-earning teams in the NBA. We show the top teams in the NBA by revenue in 2023.

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This circle graphic shows the top teams in the NBA by revenue during the 2022-2023 season.

Which NBA Team Takes Home the Most Revenues?

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

The NBA is projected to earn $13 billion in revenue this year before revenue sharing and debt payments, a 11% jump from last season, driving NBA team valuations even higher.

Since 2005, NBA team valuations have increased faster than any other major U.S. league by a wide margin. For perspective, the rise in their combined valuation has exceeded growth in the S&P 500 by more than threefold during this time period.

This graphic shows the top NBA teams by revenue, based on data from JP Morgan Asset Management.

Ranked: The Highest-Earning NBA Teams

Below, we show the revenue of all 30 NBA teams as of the 2022-2023 season:

RankingTeam2022-2023 Season
Revenue
Valuation
1Golden State Warriors$765M$7.7B
2Los Angeles Lakers$516M$6.4B
3New York Knicks$504M$6.6B
4Boston Celtics$443M$4.7B
5Dallas Mavericks$429M$4.5B
6Los Angeles Clippers$425M$4.7B
7Houston Rockets$381M$4.4B
8Chicago Bulls$372M$4.6B
9Philadelphia 76ers$371M$4.3B
10Miami Heat$371M$3.9B
11Brooklyn Nets$367M$3.9B
12Phoenix Suns$366M$4.0B
13Denver Nuggets$348M$3.4B
14Cleveland Cavaliers$348M$3.4B
15Milwaukee Bucks$329M$3.2B
16Atlanta Hawks$326M$3.3B
17Washington Wizards$323M$3.5B
18San Antonio Spurs$319M$3.3B
19Toronto Raptors$305M$4.1B
20Portland Trail Blazers$300M$3.1B
21Sacramento Kings$289M$3.3B
22Utah Jazz$274M$3.1B
23Detroit Pistons$274M$3.1B
24Charlotte Hornets$269M$3.0B
25Oklahoma City Thunder$267M$3.1B
26Indiana Pacers$263M$2.9B
27New Orleans Pelicans$262M$2.6B
28Orlando Magic$261M$3.0B
29Minnesota Timberwolves$259M$2.5B
30Memphis Grizzlies$258M$2.4B

Revenue figures are net of arena debt service and revenue sharing

With $765 million in revenue, the Golden State Warriors are the highest-earning team in the league, thanks to the stellar performances of all-star players Klay Thompson, Stephen Curry, and Draymond Green.

These players were instrumental in driving the valuation of the franchise, which grew from $1.5 billion in 2015 to a remarkable $7.7 billion in 2023. At this valuation, the Golden State Warriors are the second-most valuable sports team in America, following after the $9 billion Dallas Cowboys NFL franchise. Since 2010, the Warriors’ revenue has increased by sevenfold.

Not only did the team have the highest NBA TV ratings in seven of the last eight years as of last season, the Warriors have the largest social media following across U.S. sport franchises, including 32.4 million Instagram followers. By comparison, the Lakers have 24.6 million followers. Adding to this, the team’s jersey patch deal with Rakuten is worth approximately $45 million per season alone.

Ranking in second are the Los Angeles Lakers, earning $516 million in revenue. Over the last decade, revenues have increased by 76% fueled by the star power of LeBron James and the team’s world-renowned brand. In 2021, the team signed a five-year $100 million jersey patch deal with Korean food brand, Bibigo, making it one of the most valuable in the league.

The New York Knicks are third in revenue with $504 million, followed by the 2023-24 season champions, the Boston Celtics with $443 million in the 2022-23 season and the Dallas Mavericks in fifth at $429 million.

How Do NBA Teams Earn Revenue?

Below, we show the primary sources of revenue for the National Basketball Association (NBA):

Revenue Stream2022-2023 Season
Revenue
Share of Revenues
National Revenue
(Media/broadcast deals, merchandise, shared ticket revenue, other sponsorships)
$4.5B41%
Seating/Suites$2.9B26%
Local Media$1.4B13%
Team Sponsorships$1.3B12%
Concessions/Parking/Other$0.9B8%

As we can see, national revenue makes up the league’s largest share, driven by broadcasting and streaming agreements with national providers.

Going forward, these contract values are set to grow substantially. Today, the league is negotiating broadcasting deals with Amazon, ESPN, and NBC worth an estimated $76 billion over 11 years—making the annual contract value 2.6 times higher than its current contract. With NBA viewership up 16% across ESPN and ABC compared to the 2021-2022 season, strong demand is driving bigger media deals. During the 2022-2023 season, average viewership reached 1.7 million per game across these outlets.

Ticket and suite sales, another key source of revenue, topped $2.9 billion over the 2022-2023 season. In some cases, courtside tickets cost upwards of $3,000 per seat, with a host of celebrities from Jack Nicholson to Kendall Jenner and Bad Bunny sitting close to the action.

Following next in line were local media deals, worth $1.4 billion, and team sponsorship deals, valued at $1.3 billion.

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