With only a few weeks of 2018 left, Google have released their annual search trends report and there are some interesting, if not all surprising, trends that have happened through out the year.

The searches for “What is…?” were topped with technology in mind. The number 1 spot being “What is Bitcoin?” followed by “What is GDPR?”. Bitcoin has come to light in recent years as the new way of thinking about money but clearly some are still wondering what the digital currency is and how it all works.

With the official GDPR launch date earlier this year, there was a lot of talk in the media about how it would affect us all and many people were bombarded by emails from businesses aiming to remain GDPR compliant. This lead to many questioning the search engine giant as to exactly what GDPR was and how it affected them. Somewhat surprisingly GDPR also reached 3rd place in the News search trends behind Royal Wedding and Royal Baby. This goes to show that whilst the new privacy laws were passed some two years ago, a lot of people still weren’t quite sure what was involved when they came into force in May 2018.

The “How to…?” category also featured a few tech specific queries. In 4th spot was “How to get the old Snapchat back?” after a redesign of the popular app lead to some users much preferring the old one after a redesign discouraged a lot of users from the platform.

In 5th and 6th spot were the terms “How to delete Instagram?” and “How to delete Facebook?” respectively. This most likely came off the back of the increased privacy awareness surrounding GDPR and also the alleged ties between Facebook and Cambridge Analytica in a scandal during early 2018. It was revealed that Cambridge Analytics that harvested millions of peoples personal Facebook profiles without their consent and used it for political purposes. With Facebook also owning the Instagram platform it was inevitable that people would be concerned about both platforms.

The overall trends and results also cover the wide range of events in the past year including celebrity lives, notable losses such as Stephen Hawking, and sporting events around the world.

The overall top trending search term in the UK is currently “World Cup”, while the most searched person is “Meghan Markle”, although with the current political climate expect that to change!

The full results can be found over at https://trends.google.com/trends/yis/2018/GB along with other countries and previous years. It makes for some interesting reading.

Published: 13th Dec 2018

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