Google has published its top trending searches of 2015, a collection of stats that ought to make every single country blush, collectively, at their strange search habits. It shows an index of popularity based on how many people were searching for what, where, and when – revealing Indonesia’s passion for Adele, Canada’s overwhelming interest in adultery website Ashley Madison, and Trinidad & Tobago’s sly glances at S&M fan fiction 50 Shades of Grey.
The world is a big place, though, so it’s probably most pertinent to examine the UK and US’ various trends and see what interesting things spring up from comparing the two. Here’s a selection of the most intriguing stuff – but you can explore the tool at your leisure here.
1. Daniel Bedingfield – yes, Daniel Bedingfield – was the 7th most-searched musician in the UK
Yes, there’s a reason why. Keith Lemon-vehicle Celebrity Juice suggested the noughties star might no longer be with us back in April. Suddenly everyone was googling “Is Daniel Bedingfield alive?” The ‘Gotta Get Thru This’ singer cropped up again in September to record a Kiwi charity single for the Rugby World Cup, along with Lorde and Flight Of The Conchords, having been an X Factor judge in New Zealand in 2013.
2. America’s second most-asked question of 2015 was about adultery service Ashley Madison
They wanted to know what the adultery-enabling dating service was after a load of its clients’ data was stolen. Britain’s most pressing questions included “What is austerity?” and “What is wasabi?”
3. The UK doesn’t care about hip-hop
Whereas in the US it was much more searched for. NWA, Eazy-E and Fetty Wap all placed high in the US search list, and not at all in the UK one. Madonna came second in the UK – probably thanks to her fall at the Brits – but didn’t show up in the US list, while Meghan Trainor came tenth in both countries.
4. America’s most-asked question this year was: “What is zero divided by zero?”
The same question came fourth in the UK. Why? Because Breaking Bad actor Aaron Paul asked iPhone’s Siri the question and got a hilarious response.
He encouraged fans to do the same, but a lot of them googled it instead. If you do ask Siri this question, it will respond in one of a few ways. The best is easily the below.
5. A guy from The Wanted made the Top 10 searches for male celebrities in the UK
He did this, and people cared.
6. Four of the top five most-searched musicians in the UK were female solo artists
That’s Adele, Madonna, Rita Ora and Sia. Try not to be too surprised.
7. The UK’s biggest search term this year was national treasure Cilla Black
That was after she passed away in August following a stroke in her Spanish home. The ‘Anyone Who Had A Heart’ singer and, latterly, Blind Date presenter was 72 when she died. The other big search terms in the UK included Jurassic World, the Grand National, and the iPhone 6s. Our election results came in ninth, after all of those things.
8. Adele ruled the ‘people’ lists in both countries
She’s the only Brit who was on both lists – others sitting in the top 10 on both sides of the pond were Caitlyn Jenner, Orange Is The New Black actress Ruby Rose, Charlie Sheen, and hospitalised former basketball player Lamar Odom.
9. Jeremy Corbyn and Donald Trump were the most-searched politicians
That’s in the UK and US respectively. Hillary Clinton didn’t even appear on the top 10 list, but her rival Democrat candidate Bernie Sanders did. Didn’t stop SNL giving them equal airtime though.
Deez Nuts, the joke Republican candidate created by a 15-year-old North Carolina schoolboy, was also a top-ten US search, after he gained 9 per cent of the vote in the state.
10. Spectre bombed in the US according to the chart
Jurassic World was the most searched-for film in both countries, and Brits searched for 50 Shades Of Grey more than people did in the US. But more surprising is that Daniel Craig’s fourth James Bond film, Spectre, didn’t even make the US’ top 10, which was filled instead with cutesy movies like Inside Out, Pitch Perfect 2 and Minions.
11. Our TV tastes are very different
Game Of Thrones was the only thing appearing on both TV lists, about halfway down each. America’s is dominated by series on streaming services – Better Call Saul, Jessica Jones, Daredevil – while the UK went for things like Eurovision, detective series Broadchurch and reality series Strictly Come Dancing, Love Island, and Celebrity Big Brother. We’re with America on this one, guys.