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What do Bitcoins, Royal Weddings and Exit Polls have in common?

What do Bitcoins, Royal Weddings and Exit Polls have in common?

Google has revealed its top searches of 2017, in what is always a clear indication as to the trends and topics that caught public attention over the past 12 months.

It seems trying to get rich quick (or at least work out what all the hype is) was a major trend for 2017, with Bitcoin appearing highly in global search volumes. When it came to ‘How to…’ questions, ‘How to buy Bitcoin’ was the second most common query, whilst ‘How to mine Bitcoin’ ranked sixth. Elsewhere, ‘What is Bitcoin’ came fourth in the ‘What is…’ queries.

Sticking with ‘What is…’, British people wanted to know just what ‘parliament’ and ‘exit polls’ were – with these taking spots one and two respectively. This wasn’t the only impact of June’s shock General Election, though, as shortly after the results were announced and negotiations began, searches rocketed for ‘What is the DUP’.

The Royal Wedding also got a mention, despite not having quite so long to rack up the searches as some of the year’s other big stories. Queries related to US actress Meghan Markle peaked twice during the year – once during summer when her relationship with Prince Harry was revealed, and again in November when the couple announced their engagement.

This year’s results paint a broadly more positive picture than those from 2016, which became a year defined for many by its relentless bad news. High-profile celebrity deaths and mass shootings were among the top influencers for search queries in 2016 – although there was some repeat of this with the Grenfell disaster and Manchester Arena bombing. However, even these dark spots shone a light on people’s positivity and generosity, with a marked increase being recorded of people looking to donate or volunteer in the immediate aftermath.

Globally, people were found to be more inquisitive than ever in 2017. The main trend picked up by Google this year was that more people began their searches with the word ‘How’. Within the ‘How’ questions, though, it seemed that while some questions change, some never do. Whilst ‘How to buy Bitcoin’ came in second, it was followed by the ever-present ‘How to stay young’.

Full details on the search trends, including breakdowns by country, can be seen at google.com/2017.

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