From the news that Google Doodles inspired 170,000 searches for komodo dragons, to the often-whimsical nature of search trends with many key political dates and breaking stories overshadowed by the sheer might of the Eurovision Song Contest, March was an unpredictable month in the world of search.
Today we look at just what the many billions of searches entered into Google were about and what key trends have emerged in the first quarter of 2017.
UK & EU Politics Continue to Dominate
Perhaps unsurprisingly, March and April were full of searches with queries about Brexit and European politics in general. A significant spike in Brexit search towards the end of March was a predictable trend, with Prime Minister Theresa May set to trigger article 50 on the 29th.
With much at stake in the form of industry and trade in addition to continued efforts to thwart terrorist attacks and improve safety, searches such as those made made on keywords related to the Le Touquet agreement — and on the hosting of border controls — trended highly.
The Labour party continued to be the most searched party term throughout April. This trend in search is interesting since the Conservatives dominated the local elections with a sweeping victory which led to the retreat of Labour and the near complete removal of the UK Independence Party.
The sole exception to this trend occurred on March 17th, where the delicate subject of a fresh Conservative party expenses scandal ruled both the news headlines and Google search trends for the day. With the month passed, May 6th saw the busiest day for search volume since campaigning commenced for the local elections.
Ever a staple of Europe and characteristic of the vibrant and diverse range of cultures in the region, the Eurovision song contest soared to the top of search trends. Greece, Sweden and Ireland led the surge in search respectively, with Spain’s singer Manuel Navarro capturing a large portion of related search with his entry ‘Do It For Your Lover’.
Moving to the subject of television, Netflix’s new show 13 Reasons Why leapt to break-out status throughout April. Peaking in interest in the Philippines, New Zealand and Ireland, the show sparked a range of media attention and search terms related to the subject of adolescent mental health.
The movie industry saw predictable peaks in search terms for major blockbusters. The Fast and the Furious 8 (titled Fate of the Furious) was released on 12 April, seeing highest search activity in South Africa and Pakistan.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, released on 19 April, saw similar increases in search popularity that peaked in the countries of Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and in the UK.
The month of April was also a time for mourning in the entertainment industry. The passing of Bollywood star Vinod Khanna and American actor and comedian Charlie Murphy resulted in significant search activity surrounding the careers and lives of both famous and respected individuals.
Looking overseas, the French run-off elections saw an anticipated surge in search volume during the lead-up to the final voting window in April. April 23rd saw a leap in results as the likelihood of a close match-up of candidate Emmanuel Macron against chief opponent Marine Le Pen became apparent.
In the United States there were several search trends favouring topics including American football, television show Dancing with the Stars, and actor Zac Efron, who’s name came up in the state of Utah more than anywhere else in the country.
On YouTube the major search trend of the moment was fidget spinners. If you’re unsure what this is, why not take the Fidget Spinner Surprise Challenge!