Google has revealed the names and events that prompted Australians to do an online search over the past decade, and the results have plenty of surprises.
Google has revealed the names and events that prompted Australians to do an online search over the past decade, and the results have plenty of surprises.

What we Googled this decade revealed

This year's bushfires prompted a bigger spike in Australian online search queries than any other news event this decade, Google has revealed.

Natural disasters caused us to consult Google again and again throughout the 2010s. "Fires near me" was the most popular single search query in Australia for 2019, while the Queensland floods of 2011 was the sixth highest-spiking search of the decade, and Cyclone Yasi was the tenth.

A disaster of another kind - the 2016 "Census fail" - created the third biggest Google spike of the decade, as frustrated Australians tried to find out why they weren't able to lodge their forms online on the evening of the country's first-ever digital count.

In the end, 4.9 million online forms were lodged and Australian Statistician David Kalisch later said the 96 per cent completion rate was "comparable with previous Censuses" - but the debacle caused enormous frustration.

The 2016 US election was the biggest international event that Australians seemed to want to know more about - not too surprising given Donald Trump's upset victory - and Trump himself led the table of top trending global figures we googled.

 

Flash flooding in Toowoomba, January 2011. The Brisbane floods were one of the highest-spiking search tersm for Australia in the 2010s. Picture: AFP/Nicole Alayne Hammermeister
Flash flooding in Toowoomba, January 2011. The Brisbane floods were one of the highest-spiking search tersm for Australia in the 2010s. Picture: AFP/Nicole Alayne Hammermeister

 

Investors clamoured to find out more about the Bitcoin price run of December 2017, when the launch of two new bitcoin futures markets caused the cryptocurrency to double in value within a couple of weeks.

The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in March 2014, the death of Osama bin Laden in May 2011 and the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in May 2018 were the other international events that prompted the most Google searches.

Apart from Trump, the names that had the highest increase in search traffic over the decade were all in the entertainment field, with Justin Bieber, Kim Kardashian, Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus rounding out the top five.

Entertainment figures also dominated the list of top trending Australian public figures for the decade - with rapper Iggy Azalea somewhat surprisingly beating out actors Nicole Kidman, Chris Hemsworth, Margot Robbie and Hugh Jackman.

Even more surprising than that, however, is the fact that the very top of that list was dominated by figures from the world of current affairs and politics.

News Corp columnist Andrew Bolt led the table of names of top trending Australian public figures, followed by former prime ministers Tony Abbott and Julia Gillard.

"Nice to be noticed. Hope I'm also heeded," Mr Bolt said in response to his ranking.

"Shows the scarcity value of being a conservative in the media. Would have been a smart move on my part had it not come naturally."

 

 

Bushfires dominated Australian Google searches throughout the decade, but particularly this year. Picture: AAP Image/Mick Tsikas
Bushfires dominated Australian Google searches throughout the decade, but particularly this year. Picture: AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

 

Highest spiking news events, past decade in Australia

1. 2019 Bushfires (November 2019)

2. 2016 US election (November 2016)

3. 2016 Census (August 2016)

4. Bitcoin price run (December 2017)

5. MH370 (March 2014)

6. Queensland floods (January 2011)

7. 2019 Australian federal election (May 2019)

8. Death of Osama bin Laden (May 2011)

9. 2018 Royal wedding (May 2018)

10. Cyclone Yasi (February 2011)

 

 

 

 

Top trending global public figures, past decade in Australia

1. Donald Trump

2. Justin Bieber

3. Kim Kardashian

4. Taylor Swift

5. Miley Cyrus

6. Eminem

7. Katy Perry

8. Beyoncé

9. Ed Sheeran

10. Kylie Jenner

 

 

 

 

 

Top trending Australian public figures, past decade in Australia

1. Andrew Bolt

2. Tony Abbott

3. Julia Gillard

4. Iggy Azalea

5. Nicole Kidman

6. Chris Hemsworth

7. Margot Robbie

8. Hugh Jackman

9. Jarryd Hayne

10. Lara Bingle



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