Google’s top 2016 searches reveal humanity’s common obsessions: money, music, and hurricanes

Google has released its annual list of the year’s most popular searches, offering another simple — but revealing — glimpse into the nation’s psyche. In 2016, money, music, and natural disasters took up the top three spots in the form of the searches “Powerball,” “Prince,” and “Hurricane Matthew.” They’re all deserving of attention: the Powerball jackpot in January was $1.56 billion — the biggest in the world; Prince, who died in April at the age of 57, was a titan of the music world; and Hurricane Matthew, which rocked the Western Atlantic in late September and early October, is estimated to have cause some 1,600 deaths and $10.5 billion in damage.

Surprisingly, the year’s political upheavals did not figure higher in the list. “Trump,” “Election,” and “Hillary Clinton” took the 8th, 9th, and 10th spots, respectively, but they were still outranked by Pokémon Go (4th), the Olympics (6th), David Bowie (7th), and — weirdly — “” (5th)., if you’re not familiar, is an online, multiplayer version of Snake, where you roam around a featureless landscape, gobble up mysterious energy balls, and try not to be destroyed by larger players who can kill you with a single touch. Sure, it’s a bit of an unexpected entrant in the year’s top 10 searches, but at least it captures the apocalyptic vibe of 2016.

You can check out the full list of top searches, top searches for news topics, and top searches for people (excluding deaths) below:


  1. Powerball
  2. Prince
  3. Hurricane Matthew
  4. Pokémon Go
  6. Olympics
  7. David Bowie
  8. Trump
  9. Election
  10. Hillary Clinton


  1. Olympics
  2. Elections
  3. Orlando shooting
  4. Brexit
  5. Zika virus
  6. El Chapo
  7. Brussels
  8. Nice, France
  9. Panama Papers
  10. Aleppo


  1. Donald Trump
  2. Hillary Clinton
  3. Michael Phelps
  4. Bernie Sanders
  5. Steven Avery
  6. Ryan Lochte
  7. Simone Biles
  8. Cam Newton
  9. Usain Bolt
  10. Kevin Durant

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