Article topics

What links Meghan Markle to pangolins and Pink?

Mark Tomkins

Here we take a look at the top 10 most searched topics on Google and your surfing habits last year.

It’s always interesting, voyeuristic and somewhat hilarious to look at how the rest of the country uses the internet. Last year we created an infographic showing what content the internet was made up from – you can see this here.

Building on that theme, below are 2017’s top 10 most searched topics for the three largest search types:


Top Trending
Unsurprisingly, spanning all demographics, the top search in the UK in 2017 was Meghan Markle and the privacy issues she and Prince Harry experienced in keeping things a secret.

Apple topped and tailed the leaderboard with their two eagerly-awaited products. The iPhone X being a lot more expensive than the iPhone 8 for what you got for your money, while at the other end of the scale there was the… fidget spinner. The trend ranking demonstrates that, with a number 4 ranking. Grenfell and Manchester appeared in the top 10, too.

1) Meghan Markle
2) iPhone 8
3) Hurricane Irma
4) Fidget spinner
5) Manchester bombing
6) Grenfell Tower
7) 13 Reasons Why
8) Tara Palmer Tomkinson
9) Shannon Matthews
10) iPhone X


News Events

Interestingly, it is surprising that Hurricane Irma outranked the Manchester bombing and Grenfell Tower, followed closely by the London Bridge attack. It certainly indicates a particular type of news that internet users want to know more about when those horrific topics are intermixed with the sordid revelations [if proven true] of Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey.

1) Hurricane Irma
2) Manchester bombing
3) Grenfell Tower
4) North Korea
5) London Bridge attack
6) General election
7) Harvey Weinstein
8) Catalan independence
9) Las Vegas shooting
10) Kevin Spacey


What is…?

A more light-hearted view on the internet search habits of the UK take form when users show a lack of knowledge and look to Mr Google for an answer. The hung parliament (against) was top on the agenda as it whiffed of yet another coalition government, but the real surprise was that the Confederations Cup coming in at number 3 – although to be fair, I had to look it up, too. 2017 saw the biggest rise in crypto currency and many people asking Google what the hell it was. But the casual observer couldn’t help but laugh at the irony of asking what waterboarding is, what a general election and the DUP is. Meanwhile, pangolins and the Antikythera mechanism got high rankings probably because both were subjects of Google’s daily doodle.

1) What is a hung parliament?
2) What is an exit poll?
3) What is the Confederations Cup?
4) What is Bitcoin?
5) What is the Antikythera mechanism?
6) What is a pangolin?
7) What is a general election?
8) What is waterboarding?
9) What is the DUP?
10) What is Pink’s real name?

Amazingly, Brexit didn’t figure in any of the top searches at all, nor did Pornhub or xHamster (unlike the year before). I think that means everyone either knows everything about it or they’ve had their fill, and all those politics have, well, taken a knock at people’s libido.

All of the above, I suspect.