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Toward the end of every year, Google releases its “Year in Search,” which takes a look at what people were searching over the course of almost 12 months, worldwide. With how fast everything has been moving and changing this year, 2023’s Year in Search index is a reminder of the biggest events, people and topics the world was obsessed with, even if momentarily. The 10 most searched news stories, people, deaths, movies, games, books, recipes, songs, TV shows and more are all listed, summing up where our attention has been drawn throughout the year. It compiles this info by looking at the volume of specific keywords in similar searches.
On a worldwide scale, the top five Google news searches for 2023 were:
- War in Israel and Gaza
- Titanic submarine
- Turkey earthquake
- Hurricane Hilary
- Hurricane Idalia
And the top five people were:
- Damar Hamlin
- Jeremy Renner
- Andrew Tate
- Kylian Mbappé
- Travis Kelce
Google also indexes collected searches from specific countries and regions. In Hong Kong, for instance, we can see that both Clockenflap and Art Basel were ranked among some of the top event searches for the city, with the Hong Kong Book Fair coming in the top slot. And Jay Chou and BLACKPINK were the top two musical acts searched for by Hong Kongers this year. Both “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer” made the top 10 searched movies. But the No. 1 film on Hong Kong’s mind was “A Guilty Conscience.” As for the top trending show in the city, “The Queen of News” took first place.
A major topic on the mind of Hong Kongers this year was travel, especially now that things have started getting back to normal post-pandemic. The top five travel destinations people in the city were searching for were Tokyo, Osaka, Macau, Seoul and Bangkok.
Google turned 25 years old this year, so it decided to release a “25 Years of Search” video, looking at the most popular searches of the platform’s 25 years.
“25 years of Search has given us a lot to look back on, including nearly two decades of Trends data,” Simon Rogers, a data editor with Google, wrote in a statement. “And as we discovered, our searches revealed a shared curiosity — around the world, we're often inspired by the same moments and seek the same answers.”
In the “25 Years of Search” video, we learn that Google’s most searched decade has been the 1980s, the most searched sport is soccer (or football, depending on the region), the most searched Pokémon is Pikachu (of course!), the most searched Simpsons character is Homer, the most searched cartoon character is Spongebob and the most searched emoji is the ❤️.