Google's 2014 Top Searches: Robin Williams, World Cup, Ebola, and More

By Mario Aguilar on at

Here's your 2014 Google Zeitgeist, better known as the last 12 months in Google Search. The company does this every year, and it's always fascinating because search sheds light, however disappointingly, onto what people around the world are thinking about. Because when you want to know more about something, you Google it.

As with the 2014 trending YouTube videos we listed last week, these searches are "trends", which don't necessarily reflect the most searched terms overall. These are the terms that exploded in popularity at certain times.

They include some of the most shocking and exciting news events of the year: The death of Robin Williams, the Ebola outbreak, the Malaysia Airlines disasters, and of course, the World Cup. You'll note that Ukraine and Ferguson trend in the United States but not globally.

Global Trending Searches

  1. Robin Williams
  2. World Cup
  3. Ebola
  4. Malaysia Airlines
  5. ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
  6. Flappy Bird
  7. Conchita Wurst
  8. ISIS
  9. Frozen
  10. Sochi Olympics

Dead people are the only ones to cause a stir. The living dominate the list of trending global people searches. We search for people like Jennifer Lawrence and Matthew McConaughey because we love them. But others show up on this list because they've fallen into disgrace, like number 10 Donald Sterling, an American basketball coach who was secretly recorded making racist comments.

Wait. Where is Taylor Swift?

Global Trending People

  1. Jennifer Lawrence
  2. Kim Kardashian
  3. Julie Gayet
  4. Tracy Morgan
  5. Renee Zellweger
  6. Jared Leto
  7. Lorde
  8. Matthew McConaughey
  9. Amal Alamuddin
  10. Donald Sterling

I'll end on gadgets—this is Gizmodo after all. The trending list includes obvious trendsetters like the iPhone, but others are a little more surprising to those of us who spend our lives looking at these things.

Global Trending Consumer Electronics

  1. iPhone 6
  2. Samsung Galaxy S5
  3. Nexus 6
  4. Moto G
  5. Samsung Note 4
  6. LG G3
  7. XBox One
  8. Apple Watch
  9. Nokia X
  10. iPad Air

As a whole the trending searches paint a picture of humanity in 2014 that's paradoxically both unsurprising and interesting. We can't defy our nature: year after miserable year we're driven to hysteria by the same damn things, and every year, it's fun to look back and see what drove us mad during the preceding 12 months. There's way more on the Google Search Trends page so go check it out. [Google]