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2016 Top Google Searches

2016 has definitely been an interesting year. Although there have been many ups and downs throughout the year, I would say that the downs were a lot more prevalent. The world’s political climate has been extremely unstable, with events such as the Syrian refugee crisis and the US election, and pop culture has experienced a strange resurgence of memes and also the loss of many icons.

Google recently released their “Year of Search in 2016,” which lists the most popular internet searches from a variety of countries. Many of them are pretty on-trend based on the events that occurred during 2016, but some might just surprise you.



  1. Donald Trump
  2. Pokémon Go
  3. Toronto Raptors
  4. Fort McMurray
  5. Prince

News Stories

  1. Donald Trump
  2. US Election
  3. Zika Virus
  4. Olympics
  5. Fort McMurray Fire

What is?

  1. What is Brexit?
  2. What is Zika Virus?
  3. Hat is Microblading?
  4. What is Harambe?
  5. What is the Electoral College?

Who is?

  1. Who is Harambe?
  2. Who is Ken Bone?
  3. Who is Ann Coulter?
  4. Who is the father of Bridget Jones’ baby?
  5. Who is George Soros?

A lot happened this year, that’s for sure. We went from a world of people obsessed with Pokémon Go to a world of disillusionment with the US election, something that has obviously made a pretty large impact on Canadians given that it was a fairly popular Google search. I was surprised to see that, ‘What is microblading?’ and ‘Who is the father of Bridget Jones’ baby?’ made the cut, but maybe that’s just me! Not surprising to me was the appearance of the US election and Harambe, although I wish that hadn’t been as big and upsetting as they were. Now that we’ve seen some of Canada’s top searches, let’s take a look at the United States!

United States


  1. Powerball
  2. Prince
  3. Hurricane Matthew
  4. Pokémon Go
  5. Slither.io


  1. Olympics
  2. Election
  3. Orlando Shooting
  4. Brexit
  5. Zika Virus

What is?

  1. What is Pokémon Go?
  2. What is a Caucus?
  3. What is Brexit?
  4. What are electoral votes?
  5. What is the Electoral College?

How to?

  1. How to play Pokémon Go?
  2. How to register to vote?
  3. How to play Powerball?
  4. How to make slime?
  5. How to move to Canada?

I’m not surprised the US election pops up many times here, but I am surprised that it didn’t even make the top 5 searches from the year. It does end up being in the top 10, but that still came as a surprise to me! I also completely forgot that the $1 billion Powerball happened this year, as it was exciting at the time but not that important in the grand scheme of 2016. Pokémon Go, unsurprisingly, was a very popular search, but a game that I had to look up was ‘slither.io’. Maybe it’s just me, but I actually didn’t know about this game until I saw it on the list! If you want to play, you can do so here



  1. Pokémon Go
  2. iPhone 7
  3. Donald Trump
  4. Prince
  5. Powerball


  1. US Election
  2. Olympics
  3. Brexit
  4. Orlando Shooting
  5. Zika Virus 

And for all you pop culture lovers out there…

GIFs (United States)

1. Puppy Monkey Baby

2. Bautista Bat Flip

3. Dat Boi

4. Just Do It

5. Dancing Kid

This one actually gave me a little trouble because as you might guess, simply googling ‘dancing kid gif’ gave me many different results (aka I am sorry if this is the wrong dancing kid, as the internet is a large and vast place). 

Definitely take a look at the full list of top searches from all around the world. I think it’s really important to remember everything that happened in the past year and take a little time to reminisce about what your year was like and what you want from 2017. Whether you had a great 2016 or a not-so-great 2016, remember that most of these events are in the past and we should all look forward to a fresh start in 2017! 


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Emme Anderson is a 3rd year Rotman Commerce student who is also pursuing a minor in economics. In her free time, you'll probably find her scrolling through her News Feed or catching up on her favorite Netflix shows. She is also an avid (and unashamed) lover of cats and dogs and follows an unnecessary amount of dog instagrams. Feel free to check out her instagram @emmeandersonn ! 
Jina Aryaan is one of the Co-Editors-in-Chief of Her Campus UToronto. She is a fourth year student pursuing a major in Sociology, and a double minor in French and Latin American Studies at the University of Toronto. She has been working with Her Campus since her first year of University, and she is also highly involved on campus through various other leadership positions. When she's not busy studying, you can catch her running around campus to get to her next class or meeting. When she has some spare time, she's likely busy writing, discussing politics, or spending quality time with friends and family.
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