From devastation to empowerment and tragedy to hope, our 15th annual Year in Search uncovers the moments that captured the world’s hearts—and questions that revealed who we are. From “How can I help Nepal” to “How can the world find peace?” here’s a look back at 2015, through the lens of Google search.
Searching for ways to help
Within two minutes of the deadly attack on Paris in November, the French capital was searching for information on the assault underway in their city. Less than 10 minutes later, the rest of the world started searching. As of today, we’ve seen more than 897 million searches about the city as the world came together to “Pray for Paris.”
Global showings of support and offerings of help were a key topic in search this year. Following the Nepal earthquake, “how can I help Nepal?” was a top global search. From Somerville, Mass. to Ludwigsberg, Germany, people asked how to volunteer and what to donate.
Searching for perspective
While questions around Nepal were similar around the world, the migrant crisis in Europe spiked a wider variety of queries. From Italy asking “How to adopt a Syrian orphan child?” to Germany wondering “Where are the refugees coming from?” the world turned to Google to understand the situation and what it meant for them.
In the U.S., the topic of guns brought varying questions. From Portland, Ore. to Austin, Texas, people across the country searched for “what is gun control,” “why do we need gun control,” “why won’t gun control work” and more to understand the issue. With more than 160 million searches, interest in gun control spiked higher than interest for gun shops—typically a more popular search—at multiple points in 2015.
Searching for acceptance
In June, we met Caitlyn Jenner, someone we’d both always known and were meeting for the first time. Across the globe, she was searched more than 344 million times, and her story helped give a new voice to the transgender community.
People cheered “#lovewins” when the U.S. Supreme Court made a monumental ruling that gay marriages should be recognized at both the State and Federal level. The reaction was instant, with search interest in both same-sex marriage and the Supreme Court reaching higher than at any time in Google's history.
Searching for… the dress, the Force and the singer
Turning to the Search watercooler, the year began with the world divided over an important question: is it white and gold? or blue and black? Days of debate and 73 million searches later, “black and blue dress” topped searches of “white and gold dress,” and the matter was settled forever (right?).
And though “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is just hitting theaters this week, it’s already taken the Internet by storm(trooper). The trailer alone garnered more than 155 million searches! But the all-time high for Google searches around “Star Wars” was in 2005 after “The Revenge of the Sith” came out in theaters—can we beat it this week?
Finally, what better way to close out the year than by saying “Hello”? With the debut of “25,” Adele broke records by the week, putting her album at the top of the charts and skyrocketing to the top of Google Search faster than any other musician this year.
Hundreds of stories in depth
The 2015 Year in Search goes deeper than we've ever gone before. This year, we’re covering hundreds of news stories, sharing interactive guides and charts, and diving into the numbers by sharing things like how many times people searched for Adele (439 million, if you want to know!).
Go to Google.com/2015 to explore the rest of the 2015 Year in Search stories and top trending charts from around the world.