Top Google searches of 2014: Robin Williams, World Cup, Ebola

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Google has released its annual round-up of the year’s top global searches. Apple, Facebook and other companies also do these recaps, but those only show what we bought or posted publicly on social media. Our search history is a more honest, sometimes embarrassing, peek into what we really care about.

In 2014, the entire world was sad about the passing of Robin Williams, excited to watch the World Cup and worried about Ebola. Those three topics top the list of global trending searches, which also includes missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, the viral phenomenon Ice Bucket Challenge, addictive smartphone game Flappy Bird and Eurovision winner and drag queen Conchita Wurst. Read further from

Google released two lists this year — one for US search trends, and one for worldwide search trends. The lists are mostly the same, with just a few differences.

US Trending Searches:

  1. Robin Williams
  2. World Cup
  3. Ebola
  4. Malaysia Airlines
  5. Flappy Bird
  6. ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
  7. ISIS
  8. Ferguson
  9. Frozen
  10. Ukraine

Global Trending Searches:

  1. Robin Williams
  2. World Cup
  3. Ebola
  4. Malaysia Airlines
  5. ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
  6. Flappy Bird
  7. Conchita Wurst
  8. ISIS
  9. Frozen
  10. Sochi Olympics

The two lists are strikingly similar, save for the global list leaning toward Conchita Wurst and the Sochi Olympics in place of Ferguson and Ukraine.

Interesting to note: this is the first year in a few where an Apple product didn’t make the cut. (2010 had iPad; 2011 featured both iPhone 5 and iPad 3; 2012 had iPad 3 again; 2013 had the iPhone 5S in spot #2)

Also of note: as far as I can recall, Flappy Bird is the first mobile app to crack Google’s top 10. Having a wildly successful app is one thing — but an app that becomes one of the most searched for things around the entire world? Achievement unlocked. (Google notes that 2048 and Flappy Bird, both one-man projects, beat out Destiny, the most expensive game ever developed.)

(Note: this list is based on year-versus-year search trends; it’s about how popular a topic is this year versus last, not raw frequency. If it were just raw frequency, Google says the most popular searches wouldn’t change much.)

Adapted from TechCrunch

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