Meghan Markle and the World Cup top Google’s 2018 Year in Search

Google’s annual Year in Search has finally arrived, and it’s telling us some pretty revealing things about 2018. This, it seems, was the year of cryptocurrency, Meghan Markle and Love Island saturated pop culture.

The search engine giant, which turned 20 this year, is famed for its Year in Search roundups, which reveal the most searched terms of the year. Reading back over them is like like looking back at old photo albums; smiling over a fond memory, wincing over a bad haircut. All it takes is a glance, and the year’s triumphs, losses and controversies come flooding back to you. 

Read on to find out the content of Google’s Year in Search lists, enlightening as they are incriminating. And if you’re one of the masses who Googled “How to put lights on a Christmas tree?”, the trick is in the artful draping. Just FYI.

Google 2018 Year in Search: UK Top Trending Queries

Coming in at number one this year was the World Cup, followed closely by HRH Meghan Markle. Other people searched included Roxanne Pallett, the former Emmerdale actress embroiled in “punchgate” (Google it), singer Demi Lovato and reality star Khloe Kardashian.


Entertainment definitely got a look-in too, with Marvel’s tour de force Black Panther and A Star is Born featuring on the top ten, along with, you guessed it, gaming phenomenon Fortnite. 

Google 2018 Year in Search: “How To…?” Queries

The cultural zeitgeist was ablaze here: “How to floss dance?” came in second place, followed by a wistful “How to get the old Snapchat back?”

Digital detoxes are making a resurgence too, it seems, with “How to delete Instagram?” and “How to delete Facebook?” both placing. To be replaced by other, more fulfilling digital pursuits, evidently: “How to buy Ripple?” came in seventh place.


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The highlight has to be “How to put lights on a Christmas tree?” a feat which was hitherto thought to be fairly self-explanatory. Untangling them? Nightmare. Fixing them? Unthinkable. But putting them on a Christmas tree? We’re in trouble…

Google 2018 Year in Search: UK Top Trending “What Is…?” Queries

The top searches in the “What Is…?” section were telling; number one was “What is Bitcoin?” followed by “What is GDPR?” People like to stay informed in the ever-changing world of digital trends, then.

Other queries extended to upskirting, nerve agents and the Brexit deal, indicative of a pretty tumultuous and troubling year.

Google 2018 Year in Search: UK Top Trending News Events

It wasn’t all soap stars and social media; Googlers everywhere were using the platform to keep up with current affairs. Hurricane Florence, Stormy Daniels and GDPR all featured in the top ten.


And to temper out the sobriety, the Spice Girls, the Royal Wedding (and Baby) and, much to the delight of Apple, the iPhone XR all featured alongside their graver counterparts.

As ever, Google compiled the searches, a mixed bag if there ever was one, into a pretty life-affirming video, all things considered. Up there with the John Lewis Christmas ad, in my humble opinion. Take a look for yourself below…

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