Top Charts in Google Trends—The most searched people, places and things

Ever wonder what the world is searching for? With Google Trends, you can see what's hot right now, and also explore the history and geography of a topic as it evolves. Today you'll find new charts of the most-searched people, places and things in more than 40 categories, from movies to sports teams to tourist attractions. You'll also find a new colorful visualization of real-time Hot Searches.

Top Charts—a new monthly "spirit of the times"
Top Charts are lists of real-world people, places and things ranked by search interest. They show information similar to our Year-End Zeitgeist, but updated monthly and going back to 2004. To check them out, go to Google Trends and click "Top Charts" on the left-hand side. For example, you can see the 10 most-searched cities, movies and scientists in April:

Top Charts includes more than 40 top 10 lists and more than 140 time periods. Hover on a chart for links to embed the chart in your own page or share on social media.

Top Charts is built on the Knowledge Graph, so the data shows interest in real-world things, not just keywords. When you look at a chart of sports teams and you see the Golden State Warriors, those rankings are based on many different related searches, like [gs warriors], [golden state bball] and [warriors basketball]. That way you see which topics are most popular on Google Search, however people search for them. Top Charts provide our most accurate search volume rankings, but no algorithm is perfect, so on rare occasion you may find anomalies in the data. You can learn more about Top Charts in our Help Center.

Hot Searches, now in hot colors
In addition to Top Charts, now there's a vibrant new way to visualize trending searches as they happen. On the Trends homepage in the left-hand panel, you'll find a new link to "Visualize Hot Searches in full-screen." You’ll see the latest trending topics appear in a colorful display:


You can customize the layout by clicking the icon in the upper-left corner and expanding it to see as many as 25 searches at a time. You can also pick any region currently supported by Hot Searches. Use fullscreen mode in your browser for the biggest, purest eye candy.

...and a few design updates
We’re also continuing to spruce up our site. Among other things, now the homepage shows you more interesting stuff up front, and the search box is always available at the top:

The new Trends homepage shows a list of today's Hot Searches. Enter search terms at the top to see search interest over time and by geography.

We hope you enjoy bringing new stories to life with Google Trends. We love feedback, so please feel free to let us know what you think by posting online or by clicking "Send Feedback" at the bottom of any page in Google Trends.

From top dresses to last-minute surprises, Google Trends from the Oscars

As millions of people tuned in to watch the 85th Academy Awards, many also turned to the web to keep up with the action. Here's a look at the Oscar nominees and moments that captured the world's imagination and brought people to Google Search.

The award for “most-searched” nominee goes to...
We took a look at search interest in all of the Oscar nominees across categories. Here's a list of the most searched:

Top 5 Most Searched 2013 Oscar Nominees on Google 1 Jennifer Lawrence 2 Daniel Day Lewis 3 Anne Hathaway 4 Life of Pi 5 Les Miserables

At the end of the show, Best Picture winner “Argo” held the #6 spot, followed by Ang Lee, Christoph Waltz, “Silver Linings Playbook” and Halle Berry.

The 10 most searched red carpet dresses
The red carpet is many people's favorite part of the show. While no Oscar is awarded for "best dress," we wanted to know which gowns caught people's attention this year. The results are in, and the winners are...

Top 5 Most Searched Red Carpet Dresses at 2013 Oscars on Google 1 Jennifer Lawrence 2 Anne Hathaway 3 Halle Berry 4 Charlize Theron 5 Jessica Chastain

Beyond these top five, Brandi Glanville, Amanda Seyfried, Naomi Watts, Kate Hudson and Zoe Saldana took the next top spots.

The moments that caught our attention
This year's Oscars brought with it a number of unexpected moments that grabbed our attention. Early in the show, Seth MacFarlane was visited by William Shatner in full Captain Kirk regalia, come from the future to save Seth’s monologue; at 8:36pm ET, searches for [kirk] spiked to almost 1,500 per minute. Later in the show, “Zero Dark Thirty” and “Skyfall” tied for sound editing, and people flocked to the web with questions. Searches for [tie] spiked to more than 5,000 per minute, with many people wanting to know [has there ever been a tie in the oscars]. And in a final surprise, First Lady Michelle Obama introduced the Best Picture nominees and opened the winning envelope for “Argo.” Searches for [michelle obama] spiked to 4,500 per minute.

For more, check out Google Trends and visit our Oscars site
Before the ceremony started, we shared our “picks”—who would win if the Oscars were determined by search volume alone. Out of the six Google Search Picks, four actually won! Visit Google Trends to explore all the topics you're curious about. And if you want one more tug at the ol’ heartstrings, enjoy a look at the year’s top movies on our Oscars site.



M&M’s, Beyonce and Ravens dominate game day searches on Google

This year’s big game was filled with action—brothers battled on the field and a 34-minute-long power outage nearly turned the tide of the game. With all the excitement on the field, we looked online to see what fans across the U.S. were searching for during the game.

Overall, the top trending searches on Google during the game were:
  1. M&M’s
  2. Beyonce
  3. Baltimore Ravens
  4. San Francisco 49ers
  5. Colin Kaepernick
Other noteworthy trending searches include those about the power outage, which started trending mid-game and ended up ranking eighth out of the most-searched terms during game time. Searches for Beyonce spiked dramatically during her halftime show. And showing that ads drive consumer interest, searches for Chrysler spiked significantly after their fourth quarter commercial.


The most searched team: The Ravens
As they did in the game, the Ravens narrowly beat out the 49ers as the most searched team during the game on Google. The most searched players of the game were Colin Kaepernick, Joe Flacco, Michael Oher, David Akers and Jacoby Jones—thanks to his 108-yard kickoff return.

The Harbaugh brothers’ on-field battle has been one of the big stories of the game, so it’s no surprise that viewers took to the web to find more information on these coaches. While John Harbaugh took home the trophy, Jim was the most searched brother on Google.

Game day commercials
Lastly, it’s not game day without the commercials. Fans were seeking out commercials online throughout the game, driving searches for big game ads on Google 55 times higher this Sunday than the same time last week. The most searched for commercials on YouTube were ads from M&M’s, Mercedes-Benz, Disney’s “Oz Great and Powerful,” Lincoln, and Audi. Searches for "Gangnam Style" were also trending on YouTube, along with searches for big game performers Alicia Keys and Beyonce.

This year many advertisers turned to YouTube to share game day ads and teaser videos in the weeks leading up to the game. In 2013, big game ads or ad teasers were watched more than 66 million times on YouTube before game day.


Now that you’ve seen all the ads, vote for your favorite one on either the YouTube Ad Blitz channel or ADWEEK.com now through February 11. The winners of the Ad Blitz will be announced on the YouTube homepage on February 16.

Will you be Monday-morning quarterbacking the game or the ads?

Zeitgeist 2012: What piqued your curiosity this year?

As 2012 comes to a close, it's time for our 12th annual Year-End Zeitgeist—an in-depth look at the "spirit of the times" as seen through the billions of searches on Google over the past year.

On our 2012 Zeitgeist website, you can explore the most popular and hottest trending search terms from around the world. This year’s site is our most global to date, with a total of 838 lists from 55 countries. We’ve also added a number of new features, including an interactive map that shows where and when some of the hottest terms spiked around the world, and a Google Zeitgeist Android app coming out later today (with an iOS version coming soon too).

For a round-the-globe tour through 2012, take a look at our video:



So what kinds of things were top of mind this year? While there are perennial themes—“what is love?” topped the list in 10 countries—it’s the unusual and surprising that caught our attention in 2012.

Global superstar Whitney Houston topped many countries’ lists as well as three of our overall trending lists—her unexpected death surprising fans around the world. From Korea, YouTube sensation PSY’s “Gangnam Style” signature dance took the world by storm, landing him the #1 spot in many countries and making his song the second most trending query of 2012. (PSY’s video became the #1 most watched in YouTube history—stay tuned for YouTube’s Rewind for more.)


Then there was the superhuman. Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner’s epic free fall jump made him the #6 globally trending person of the year, while the 2012 Olympics and its various athletes made it into almost every country’s top trends. And NBA player Jeremy Lin also rose on the charts this year, making him the #1 trending athlete globally.

People researched a breadth of other topics, too. Web users took a serious interest in threats to the open Internet, with proposals like SOPA and ACTA both finding their way to the top of many countries’ lists. The U.S. elections brought attention to the candidates and issues, not least the presidential campaigns’ most notorious political gaffes. And while it might not be surprising to see that tragic natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy ranked highly (#3 on the global trending list), it is reassuring to find searches like [donate to Sandy] spiking as well.

We hope you enjoy exploring what people around the world were searching for in 2012. It’s quite a snapshot of what makes us human: a blend of guilty pleasures and higher pursuits.

Google Maps shows how we spent summer 2012

In the blink of an eye, summer is coming to an end. It feels like it was just yesterday that I was planning out all my summer activities as I eagerly awaited the start of long, sunny days and warm nights.

Before we approach the official end of summer on September 21, our Google Maps team thought it’d be fun to see how those of us in the Northern Hemisphere have spent the dog days. To do this, we reviewed the summer search activity on maps.google.com in several countries between the end of May and the beginning of September. Within each country, a look at some of the top-rising searches and the often-searched landmarks on Google Maps gives us a sense of how people around the world spent their summers.

We’re honored that people rely on the comprehensive and accurate imagery in Google Maps to research, plan, preview and digitally experience distant as well as local destinations across the globe. Take a look and click through for a larger image:


North Americans sought out the best local beaches to help cool off from the summer heat. In comparison, many more people from Spain, Italy and France searched for community swimming pools. In cooler areas of the U.K. the rising Google Maps searches included many indoor activities such as squash, bars and going to the gym. And, as expected, travel was a clear choice for the summer, as indicated by a surge in searches for lodging in almost every region.

Many popular destination searches were located outdoors. National parks and Hawaiian islands were the most popular searches in the U.S., while local parks, zoos, gardens and playgrounds topped Canada’s and Europe’s list. Major landmarks such as the Empire State Building in New York City, Niagara Falls in Canada, the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Taj Mahal in India also topped the list of often-searched places in Google Maps. And of course, with the Summer Games drawing in international audiences, Wembley Stadium and the Olympic Stadium were two of the most searched for locations throughout the U.K. this summer.

Check out the destinations that captured people’s attention this summer and see how your interests compared to others around the world. We hope you enjoy this look back to remember the fun places we all went with Google Maps this summer, and we can’t wait to help you find your next adventure!



(Cross-posted on the Lat Long blog)

Find out what people are searching for with the updated Hot Searches list

People turn to search when they’re looking for answers and information, and sometimes what they want to know is on other people’s minds as well. You can learn a lot about what’s happening around the country or catch wind of a breaking news story by looking at what others are searching for.

With Hot Searches in Google Trends, you can see a list of the fastest rising search terms in the U.S. for a snapshot of what’s on the public’s collective mind. To create the Hot Searches list which is updated on an hourly basis, an algorithm analyzes millions of searches in the U.S. and determines which queries are being searched much more than usual.

Now, Hot Searches has gotten a refresh that makes the list of searches more visual, groups related rising search terms together and lets you see more information about those searches.


With rich images and links to related news articles, you can glance at the list and instantly get an idea of why these topics are particularly hot at the moment and click to find out more about them. Unlike the previous version of Hot Searches, which always provided 20 daily results, the new page introduces a filtering system that helps us make sure that the list includes only the truly hottest news stories of the day. Also, when a few of the fastest rising search terms refer to the same news story, such as [tony awards 2012] and [audra mcdonald], they’re now aggregated into one entry, which lists all the “Related searches” that go along with the main story. Lastly, the new list also provides an indication of how many searches have been conducted for each topic in the 24 hour period when it was trending.

To find out what the hottest searches are today, whether it’s a celebrity engagement, a sports-related shakeup or news about your favorite TV series, check out the updated Hot Searches list in Google Trends.



(Cross-posted on the Inside Search Blog)

Opening the Oscar (search) envelope

Time to polish the champagne flutes and brush up on your movie trivia—it’s almost Oscar night again. Before you make any Oscar bets, get an edge by exploring Google Insights for Search. Out of the major entertainment awards shows (Tonys, Emmys, Grammys) the Oscars are the most popular in terms of search volume, and as we discovered last year, patterns in search behavior can help us predict which stars will go home with shiny gold statues. So without further delay, let’s open the (search) envelopes and see who the Oscar (may) go to this year.

Best Picture
Last year we found that for three years running, the films that won best picture had two things in common when it came to search data. First, the winning movies had all shown an upward trend in search volume for at least four consecutive weeks during the previous year. Second, within the U.S. the winning film had the highest percentage of its searches originating from the state of New York. Looking at search data for 2011, there were three films that satisfied these conditions—The King’s Speech, The Social Network and Black Swan. Our prediction was on the mark: The King’s Speech took home the Oscar in 2011.

This year, if we assume the two “winning conditions”—at least four consecutive weeks of increasing search volume plus highest regional interest from New York—will apply, then we can narrow down the nominees to a field of four: The Artist, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, Midnight in Paris and War Horse. But how to go from four to one?

Let’s again look back at last year’s finalists. When you compare search query volumes for The King’s Speech, The Social Network and Black Swan, the winning film, The King’s Speech, had the lowest search volume throughout the year leading up to the Oscars. It was the underdog that took home the statue.


We tried the same test on the Best Picture nominees from 2010. The nominated movies in 2010 that met the two conditions were The Hurt Locker and Inglourious Basterds. Once again, it was the the winning film, The Hurt Locker, that had lower search volume in 2009.

If the underdog trend holds this year, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close could be our surprise winner. If we go strictly by search popularity, however, The Artist or Midnight in Paris have the best chances—among our group of four, they’re currently blowing the competition out of the water.


If we’re having a popularity contest, it’s only fair to look at all nine nominees for best picture. A 2-step comparison shows that the most popular films by search volume are The Help and Martin Scorsese's Hugo.

Best Actor
Of this year’s five nominees for Best Actor, Brad Pitt (Moneyball) is clearly the most popular—searches for Brad in the last 12 months far outpace any of the other leading men, as was the case in 2009 when he was nominated for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. However, it could be Brad’s famous good looks that have us searching, which brings about a good point: the most searched-for nominee doesn’t guarantee a win. James Franco had the highest search volume in 2011 but Colin Firth won, and in 2010, George Clooney was the most-searched nominee but Jeff Bridges took home the Oscar.

The pattern emerging over the past few years is that the winner is generally in the middle of the pack in terms of searches and has relatively steady search volume throughout the year. First-time nominee Gary Oldman (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) fits that bill this year, but so does George Clooney (The Descendants). Maybe it will finally be George’s year to win Best Actor.


Best Actress
For the past three years, the eventual Best Actress winner has seen a spike of interest in the preceding December. Additionally, two of the three most recent winners have had the strongest regional interest within the U.S. from the cities of Los Angeles and New York City (2010 winner Sandra Bullock is the exception).

Among this year’s nominees, Rooney Mara is the clear breakout star, with a huge surge in search volume this past December for the young lead in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. However, it’s Meryl Streep who has the highest regional interest in NYC and while Rooney is popular in LA, she’s even more popular in San Francisco. So it could be her name that is announced when the envelope is opened—or not.


Of course, we don’t have a Magic 8-Ball or access to the names in those top-secret envelopes, so our predictions are just that—but it’s always enjoyable to look at how what people are interested in online plays out in the real world. As you prepare for your Oscar viewing parties this year, put a visit to Insights for Search on your checklist before the red carpet walk begins (fun fact: searches for [red carpet] peak at Oscar time every year). Between dry cleaning your tuxedo and making hors d'oeuvres, tune in to a pre-Oscar hangout on the +Good Morning America page, where the live discussion will be the fashion dos and don'ts of the big night. You can also stay up to date on all Oscar news on +Oscars, the official Google+ Page of the Academy Awards.

Roses are red, violets are blue...here are some Valentine’s Day tips for you

It’s Valentine’s Day, and all you need is love.

Well, maybe you need a few more things.

This year, lovebirds in the U.S. are pulling out all the stops and are expected to hit a 10-year spending high on romantic goods. Whether you’re looking for a box of chocolates or buying a diamond ring, we’ve taken notes on how Google can turn any last-minute Cupid into a polished Romeo. Think of us as Cyrano de Bergerac, whispering words of wisdom in your ear for dishes, dates and romantic inspiration.

Sweets for a sweetie
They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Searches for [valentine’s day dinner], [valentine’s day recipes], [romantic dinner] and [romantic recipes] ramp up at the start at February, hitting their peak on the 14th.


If you’re whipping up a homemade treat, you can use Google Recipe view to search for thousands of heart-shaped cookie recipes, and tailor the ingredients (and the calorie count) for the best fit.

If you’re not a maestro in the kitchen yet, we can help. Peruse some trendy dishes and learn how to cook from YouTube’s Next Chefs, who have created a highlight reel of their best aphrodisiacs. We’re not playing favorites, but we do love the Sweetest Vegan’s red velvet beet cupcakes, which will come in handy for many couples—searches for [vegan valentines] have more than tripled since 2006.

Don’t know a truffle from a trifle? Then let a professional handle the meal. If you haven’t booked a table yet, you’re not alone: searches for [valentines day reservations] typically peak on February 9 and remain high through the holiday. For ideas, check out Zagat’s recommendations for romantic hotspots in your neighborhood. A word to the wise, though: If you’re planning on popping the question on Valentine’s Day, avoid dining out, as 69 percent of those surveyed in Zagat’s recent Valentine’s Day Survey feel that restaurant proposals are “cheesy.”

Perfect planners and last-minute cupids
Women have a head start on the menfolk when it comes to Valentine’s Day gifts, searching earlier (and more often) than their male counterparts—about 160 percent more since January.


The staple romantic gifts haven’t lost their appeal. Searches for [jewelry gifts] have grown over 10 percent, searches for [flower delivery] have increased nearly 20 percent, and searches for [couples massage] have jumped nearly 50 percent over last Valentine’s Day.

To impress, some folks are thinking outside the (heart-shaped) box. For the daring, create your own [valentines scavenger hunt]—searches are up more than 20 percent from last year. Or, add a personal touch—searches for [personalized valentines day gifts] are up over 20 percent compared to last year and searches for [homemade valentines gift] are up over 60 percent since last year. The last-minute lovers don’t have to despair, though. Visit Google Shopping to find gift ideas and filter results to see which items are in stock nearby.

Celebrating solo
Celebrating Valentine’s Day solo doesn’t mark you as a Miss (or Mr.) Lonelyhearts. Instead, treat yourself to a night on the town. View interactive results for nearby movie showtimes on your mobile phone, and know that if you indulge your inner cynic by skipping the rom com and catching a horror film, you won’t be alone: in the past 30 days, searches for [horror movie] are 230 percent higher than searches for [romantic movie].

Vive la romance
Everyone loves a fairytale ending, so let’s wrap up with two final ways to make your heart grow two sizes too big today. For a close-up look at romance at its finest, check out the “Awww: Romantic Proposals” YouTube Slam. Vote for your favorite mushy, creative, artistic, or—in one case—magic proposal.

Finally, today’s homepage doodle gives a nod to love, both young and old. Though “Cold, Cold Heart” plays in the background, we bet yours will warm just a bit.

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!



(Cross-posted on the Inside Search blog)

Super Bowl XLVI: Mobile, Manning and Madonna

Now that the final Super Bowl touchdown has been scored, the dip bowl wiped clean and the last of the chicken wings devoured, we’re taking a look at some game-day search trends to see what football fans were searching for this year.

As the Giants and Patriots battled it out on the field yesterday, U.S. viewers multi-tasked, watching the game on television and also going online more than ever before, turning to their smartphones and tablets to look up players, halftime show performers and their favorite Super Bowl commercials. In fact, around 41% of searches related to [Super Bowl ads] that were made during the game came from mobile devices, up from 25% for the same time the day prior.

Overall, the top trending searches on Google during the game were:
  1. Madonna
  2. Halftime show
  3. Patriots
  4. Tom Brady
  5. Giants
This was the first year that the Super Bowl was live streamed, and there was a significant spike in searches related to Super Bowl live streaming on game day. Searches peaked at kickoff, and were made predominantly on desktop, followed by mobile phones and then tablets. Searches for the Spanish language version of the live stream made the list of top trending queries, and while it may have been after midnight on the other side of the Atlantic, we still saw searches for [Super Bowl 2012 ├╝bertragung] and [w9 streaming] in Germany and France, respectively.


The Giants claimed the game in a down-to-the-wire nail biter; however, the Patriots edged them out in searches. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady not only broke Joe Montana’s record for the most consecutive completions at a Super Bowl, he also scored the most searches out of all the players. Eli Manning, Victor Cruz, Aaron Hernandez and Danny Woodhead rounded out the top five players trending during the game.


The Material Girl Madonna took the honor of being the most-searched for term during the game, but other celebrities that caught viewers’ eyes included Super Bowl performers LMFAO, Kelly Clarkson and Nicki Minaj. Searches for Katherine McPhee’s soon-to-premiere NBC show [Smash] beat out searches for David Beckham’s H&M ad campaign.


Finally, no Super Bowl wrap-up would be complete without talking about the commercials. 2012 saw a pre-Super Bowl ad bonanza, with many of the top commercials either being teased or posted in full well in advance of the game. Super Bowl ads or ad teasers were watched more than 30 million times on YouTube before the big weekend this year (you can read more on the top rising Super Bowl searches on YouTube here).

Game day searches for [super bowl ads] were 122 times higher than the same time last week. The most popular commercials in terms of Google searches were ads from Acura, GoDaddy and M&M’s. Searches for The Avengers movie trailer were also trending, along with Chrysler’s spot featuring Clint Eastwood.

Now that you’ve seen them all, vote for your favorite commercial of the game on the YouTube Ad Blitz channel. The winning ads will be showcased on the YouTube homepage on February 18.

To download the full infographic above, visit Think Insights, our website for marketers. Our final Ad Blitz infographic (coming soon) will include new facts and stats about Super Bowl ads, and you can follow Think with Google on Google+ to be the first to know when it's released.

That’s it for the NFL 2012 season, but luckily, major league baseball is just around the corner...



Update 10:09am: Earlier, this post incorrectly stated that Patriots quarterback Tom Brady broke Joe Montana’s record for the most touchdown passes at a Super Bowl, instead of most consecutive completions. This post has been updated to correct the error.

Make your own online scrapbook with 2011 green search trends

Last week we unveiled this year’s Zeitgeist, including the fastest rising searches in 2011. Those of us on the Google Green team were pleased that the search trends include several popular searches related to the environment (as you can see from the highlights video). So we created the Green Scrapbook to help you explore these green trends, choose your favorites, and reveal videos and surprising facts about them. As you click around, you create your very own collection of what green meant to you this year, which you can personalize with your name and share with your friends.

People have already started creating and sharing their Green Scrapbook. For example, Adam created one showcasing a video of a tapir (Belize’s endangered “mountain cow”) and highlighting what an LED light is. I created my scrapbook, too, where I could tell people about the microorganisms that light up Puerto Rico’s famous “bioluminescent bay.” I also let people know that if I could win an eco-friendly car, I’d choose a Tesla (there’s still time to get me one for Christmas!).


Once you complete your own scrapbook, you can share it on Google+ or anywhere you’d like by grabbing the unique URL to your scrapbook with the “get URL” link at the top right.

We’re working hard to create a better web that’s also better for the environment. We hope the Green Scrapbook sparks conversation and gets people thinking about all the ways they can make greener choices in their lives—whether it’s about the merits of rooftop [solar energy], or prompting people to think about [garbage islands] and then reach for a [reusable water bottle].