If you want to know what’s on Australia’s mind, there is probably no one who can paint a better picture than Google.
We reveal our deepest secrets and insecurities to the search engine giant. When no one is watching, we ask it questions we’re too embarrassed to ask each other.
As the dominant internet indexer in Australia, it’s also where we turn when we want to find the latest articles and headlines on a particular topic — and in 2018 there was plenty that captured our interest.
From Barnaby Joyce, to bitcoin to blood moons and ball tampering, Aussies were in a search of some big answers this year.
Many of us wanted to know how to opt out of the government’s new My Health Record while some of us just wanted to know “how to win Powerball.” Not a bad question, to be honest.
Lots of us wanted to know why Anzac Day is important and why we celebrate Australia Day as well as the reason the national holiday takes place on January 26.
And also, if you’ve ever googled, “Why is my poop green” take solace in the fact that you’re far from the only one.
Here’s what we googled in 2018:
THE SCANDALS AND EVENTS WE CARED ABOUT
The number one Australian figure we searched this year was former Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce. He has been in politics for nearly two decades but those punching his name into Google will probably know him best for knocking up a member of his staff and leaving his wife and family in a very public split.
The scandal led him to step down as leader of his party in February.
The royal wedding was one of the biggest events of the year, reinvigorating the public’s interest in the British royal family.
Former Hollywood actress — now Duchess of Sussex — Meghan Markle, topped the list of most searched people from around the world, beating out Demi Lovato and Freddie Mercury. No matter who you are, it was tough to avoid the excitement around her marriage to Prince Harry in May, let alone the couple’s Australian tour in October.
One of the other big news stories people were looking for this year was the dramatic rescue of a team of young soccer players and their coach from underground caves in Thailand. It took days — and dramatic offers from eccentric billionaires — for the dramatic rescue effort to unfold and people were likely coming back to the search engine for updates. If you didn’t know by now, they all made it out safely.
THE TRENDS AND FADS
Keto was king in 2018 as Aussies tried to kick their sugar habit. “Keto recipes” topped the list of recipe searches and desserts were noticeably absent in the top food-related searches which, in contrast to previous years, include only savoury dishes and ingredients, according to Google’s data.
And of course, who can forget the bitcoin mania? The hype (and the price) peaked at the end of last year, but there was still plenty of crypto related googling going on. “Coinspot” was the fifth most searched for topic in 2018 as Aussies looked to trade the so-called digital currency, while “bitcoin price” was the ninth most common search.
The Winklevoss twins were saying it would go to $100,000 and controversial tech guru John McAfee proclaimed he would eat his “own d**k” if it didn’t go to $1 million by 2020. But sadly for the true believers, the price has since crashed and so too has most people’s interest in it.
SPORT ALWAYS WINS
In true Aussie form, the main thing we cared about was sport. The World Cup and the Commonwealth Games were to two biggest overall search topics in 2018.
This year was also home to one of the biggest sporting scandals in recent memory. The Australian cricket captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner both went down when Australia was caught tampering with the cricket ball in a Test match against South Africa.
As a result, plenty of people were searching, “What is ball tampering?” and David Warner also made it into the list of most searched for Aussies.
OTHER BIG SEARCHES
In news that should surprise no one, Australians continue to be frustrated by their internet connection and many of us turned to that very internet connection, or probably our 4G connection, to ask why it was so slow. (Click here for a spoiler on that one btw).
“Why is my internet so slow?” was the eighth most common search this year under questions starting with “why”, behind queries like “Why is State of Origin on Sunday?” and “Why is ANZAC Day important?”
Below you can see what Google says were the top searches by category this year that represented the spirit of 2018. Note: the X-rated ones have been omitted by the company to keep this thing family friendly.
US Open Tennis
Thai cave rescue
My health record
US midterm elections
HOW TO …?
How to opt out of my health record
How to watch World Cup in Australia
How to win Powerball
How to delete Instagram
How to face match
How to buy bitcoin
How to lose weight fast
How to screenshot on iPhone X
How to delete Facebook
How to lose belly fat
WHAT IS …?
What is bitcoin
What is listeria
What is ligma
What is hazing
What is a mud room
What is the capital of California
What is open on Good Friday
What is Diwali
What is blockchain
What is ball tampering
WHY IS …?
Why is State of Origin on Sunday
Why is it called Good Friday
Why is Russia OAR
Why is Australia Day Jan 26
Why is Tim Cahill not playing tonight
Why is ANZAC Day important
Why is Australia Day celebrated
Why is my internet so slow
Why is Nick Cummins called the honey badger
Why is my poop green
Beef stroganoff recipes
Chicken curry recipes
Chicken soup recipes
Fried rice recipes
Beef stew recipes
“HOW TO COOK…?”
How to cook corned beef
How to cook eggplant
How to cook tofu
How to cook silverside
How to cook beetroot
How to cook rice in the microwave
How to cook corn
How to cook couscous
How to cook crayfish
How to cook barramundi