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The most searched phrases of 2015 offer a few surprises, some depressing, some uplifting

The most searched phrases of 2015, highlighting the world as seen through the Internet

Each year, Google releases a list of the most searched for words and phrases, and each year it is an eye opening look at the most important moments of the year, relatively speaking. Some of the phrases are obvious and expected, and feature things like championship sports teams and the most attention-grabbing politicians, but sometimes it goes deeper.

The list of searches is broken up into 45 categories, ranging from most searched for actors to movies to the people we lost in 2015. Some are about what you’d expect, some are surprising.

The 10 most searched phrases in 2015 were:

  1. Lamar Odom
  2. Jurassic World
  3. American Sniper
  4. Caitlyn Jenner
  5. Ronda Rousey
  6. Paris
  8. Chris Kyle
  9. Fallout 4
  10. Straight Outta Compton

Keep in mind these are specific search words and phrases. Google also released several of the most searched topics, which included multiple phrases and keywords. For example, “Paris Under Attack” had over 897 million searches. That included several specific searches, including “What happened in Paris”, “Who are the Eagles of Death Metal”, and “When is the Paris curfew”.

A few other notable searches included Star Wars (over 155 million), Oscars 2015 (over 406 million), and Rugby World Cup (over 246 million). Each of those included multiple searches, but they were all related.

The searches are from around the world, but there are a few caveats that throw off the results. One of the biggest is that the search results only include a fraction of the most searched phrases in China, the most populated country in the world. Google is a distant third in terms of most used search engines, behind the regionally specific Baidu and Soso.

The most searched for phrases of 2015 breakdown gets fairly specific by category. It includes things like most searched for car model (2016 Chevy Malibu), natural events (Hurricane Patricia), TV shows (Better Caul Saul), and recipes (pumpkin seed recipes) to name a few.

Even with grouped terms, there are a few surprising omissions, at least based on the average news coverage. You might expect to see a politician crack the top ten, either President Obama or especially the headline magnet, Donald Trump (under the politician category, Trump is number 1, and under People he is number 4). Often, coverage and curiosity are separate issues.


Google also released a video to go along with the results, but to be fair, it is a heavily slanted.

It’s an optimistic glimpse at some of the more benevolent searches of the year, including phrases like “How can we overcome prejudice,” and “How can I help the refugees.” That’s a far cry from the most searched for “What is…” question,  the facepalm inducing “What is 0 divided by 0.” That’s a little heart breaking, to be honest, but the video is cool.

Check it out below, and you can find the full results search results of 2015 here.



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Founder and DBP boss. Ryan likes the Kansas Jayhawks, long walks on the beach, and high fiving unsuspecting people.
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