Google’s Top Trending Searches of 2019 and Other Year-in-Review Lists

December 18, 2019

It’s that time of the year again, for the most special of retrospections… year-in-review lists. Google’s top trending searches of 2019 show that globally cricket, soccer and the newest iPhone were atop our minds this year, while in the US newly-launched streaming service Disney Plus was a hot topic.

Unlike in years past, two cricket matchups made it into the top 5 trending searches, with India vs South Africa topping the list and Bangladesh vs India coming in at #4. Searches for the ICC Cricket World Cup ranked 10th.

Unfortunately, untimely passings often make these lists, and this year was no different, as the death of Disney star Cameron Boyce was the #2 global trending search.

Also in the global top 5 were Copa America (#3)  and the iPhone 11 (#5) which brings consumer tech back onto the list after being absent last year.

[Note: Top trending searches do not refer to searches with the most volume, but rather those with the highest amount of traffic over a sustained period in comparison to 2018.]

Within the US, Disney Plus was the top trending search, followed by two celebrity deaths, Cameron Boyce and Nipsey Hussle. And, just as in years past when Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Florence appeared in the US top 5, Hurricane Dorian landed at #4 in this year’s list, followed by NFL football player, Antonio Brown (#5).

Rounding out the top 10 trending searches in the US were:

  • Luke Perry
  • Avengers: Endgame
  • Game of Thrones
  • iPhone 11
  • Jussie Smollett

Four of the top 10 search trends from the US also appeared on the list of top trending search terms globally, down from 6 last year.

In comparing the US and global lists, it’s interesting to see that the Joker movie did not make the US list, while the iPhone 11 was higher on the global list (#5) than in the US rankings.

Meanwhile, in terms of news, the Copa America was the top trending search globally, followed by Notre Dame, ICC Cricket World Cup, Hurricane Dorian and the Rugby World Cup. In the US Hurricane Dorian, Notre Dame Cathedral, Women’s World Cup, Area 51 Raid and Copa America were the top 5 trending news searches.

Below is a brief selection of top-5 trending search lists from around the world and in the US.

  • People – Global
  1. Antonio Brown
  2. Neymar
  3. James Charles
  4. Jussie Smollett
  5. Kevin Hart
  • People – US
  1. Antonia Brown
  2. Jussie Smollett
  3. James Charles
  4. Kevin Hart
  5. R. Kelly
  • Fashion Style Searches – US
  1. Camp style
  2. Egirl style
  3. Eboy style
  4. Steampunk style
  5. Harajuku style
  • What is…? – US
  1. What is Area 51
  2. What is a VSCO girl
  3. What is momo
  4. What is a boomer
  5. What is quid pro quo
  • TV Shows – US
  1. Game of Thrones
  2. Stranger Things
  3. When They See Us
  4. Chernobyl
  5. The Mandalorian
  • Movies – US
  1. Avengers: Endgame
  2. Captain Marvel
  3. Joker
  4. Toy Story 4
  5. The Lion King

Other Year-in-Review Lists

Of course, Google doesn’t have a monopoly on year-in-review lists. Below is a brief rundown of some of the highlights from other such lists, with a link to each.

  • A photo of an egg and a plea to break a world record for retweets posted by @egg_rt_record made it to the top of the list for most retweeted tweets on Twitter this year. On a more serious note, #NotreDame was the top news-related hashtag worldwide. Twitter’s review can be found here.
  • James Charles and Tati “No More Lies” was the top trending YouTube video of 2019, followed by Gordon Ramsay’s “Savagely Critiques Spicy Wings/Hot Ones” at #2, “Investigating Conspiracies with Shane Dawson at #3, MrBeast’s “I Bought Everything In a Store – Challenge” at #4 and Gillette’s “We Believe: The Best a Man Can Be” at #5.
  • The egg strikes again on Instagram. World_record_egg had the most likes in 2019 (28.3 million to be exact). #love was the most popular hashtag community this year on Instagram, and Clarendon was the most-used filter. The biggest viral trend of the year was #10yearchallenge, which challenged users to post a 10-year-old photo next to a recent one. Instagram’s review can be found here.
  • Good Omens beat out the likes of BTS (the South Korean boy band that topped many lists in 2018), Marvel, Steven Universe and Druck to be the most popular “thing” on Tumblr this year. The full top 10 can be accessed here.
  • Lil Nas X had the most thumbed-up song on Pandora this year (“Old Town Road”), taking the position from Drake, who had the most thumbs up the previous three years in a row. Ariana Grande, who is in the #3 spot after J. Cole (#2), is featured twice on the top 10 list. The list of the top 100 thumbed-up songs can be found here.
  • In the realm of social TV, HBO’s Game of Thrones was the Most Social Primetime TV Series, per Nielsen. With an average of 5.3 million interactions over 6 episodes, the series beat out WWE Monday Night RAW on the USA Network (average of 1.9 million interactions over 46 episodes) and WWE Friday Night Smackdown on FOX (average of 1.7 million interactions over 8 episodes). The 61st Annual Grammy Awards (CBS) was the #1 Most Social Televised Special with 26.2 million total interactions, while Super Bowl LIII (CBS) racked up 32.3 million total interactions to rank #1 in the Total Most Social Televised Sports category.
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