What The World Cared About In 2015, According To Our Google Searches

Published December 16, 2015
Updated January 31, 2018
Published December 16, 2015
Updated January 31, 2018

What mattered most this year? Here to explain it all-and maybe shake your faith in humanity--are the top Google searches of 2015.

Paris Adele Trump

From left: Jean Jullien’s symbol of solidarity for the Paris attacks, Image Source: Instagram; Adele, Christopher Macsurak/Wikimedia Commons; Donald Trump, Image Source: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

When we reflect upon 2015, we’ll all likely remember the “Black Lives Matter” protests that reclaimed the streets of the U.S. or the terrorist attacks that struck fear into the hearts of people around the world. What people truly cared about in the moment, however, is something that perhaps only Google can tell us. How many history books will remember how “The Dress” took over the U.S. (with more than 73 million Google searches) or that time a lion named Cecil united the country against a dentist (more than 32 million Google searches)?

Despite media fragmentation and the ever increasing growth of niche entertainment and interest groups, there are still events that manage to capture the zeitgeist of the nation, and the world. And there to measure it all is Google.

The top Google searches of 2015 reveal that the world is pretty concerned about the issues that might be presaging the end of humankind as we know it, but might be more concerned with television, sports, and music. Does the world really believe that Adele releasing her third album is more important than Pope Francis visiting the United States for the first time? Maybe not. But that’s the version of the story Google is telling.

From Star Wars to the recent wave of mass shootings and beyond, these ten stories represent the top Google searches of 2015…

Nickolaus Hines
Nickolaus Hines is a freelance writer in New York City. He graduated from Auburn University, and his recent bylines can be found at Men's Journal, Inverse, and Grape Collective.