News & Politics

Washington’s Most Googled Terms in 2015 Were Basically the Same as Everywhere Else’s

Photograph via iStock.

With 2015 drawing down, Google has once again produced its “Year in Search” feature, highlighting the topics users of the internet giant’s search engine looked for the most. While the main “Year in Search” splash features interactive insights into some of the year’s biggest news events—the terror attacks in Paris, the discovery of liquid water on Mars, and corruption within FIFA, to name a few—the company also sent out lists of the most popular search terms in major US cities.

But Washingtonians shouldn’t feel very special about their Googling in 2015. The most-trending phrases entered in Google from DC users largely ape national trends—heavy on celebrity deaths, celebrity near-deaths, and news events that captivated global audiences. Google finds its top trending topics by compared to how they’ve ranked in previous years, and this year’s top trending search in DC was the same as the nation’s: Lamar Odom, the former NBA forward who in October was found unconcious in a Nevada brothel. In fact, DC’s top ten trending searches in 2015 were all national or international stories:

  1. Lamar Odom
  2. Bobbi Kristina Brown
  3. American Sniper
  4. Caitlyn Jenner
  5. Jurassic World
  6. Paris
  7. Ronda Rousey
  8. Hurricane Joaquin
  9. Charlie Sheen
  10. Chris Kyle

The top ten trending news events, celebrity searches, and films—the only other localized results Google released—also don’t feel very local. The only potential exceptions are on the list of news events, with Baltimore in the wake of the death of Freddie Gray and Pope Francis cracking the list.

Top trending news events:

  1. Paris
  2. Hurricane Joaquin
  3. Baltimore
  4. Pope Francis
  5. Hurricane Patricia
  6. [Floyd] Mayweather vs [Manny] Pacquiao
  7. San Bernardino
  8. Charlie Hebdo
  9. Pluto
  10. El Chapo

Top trending people:

  1. Lamar Odom
  2. Bobbi Kristina Brown
  3. Caitlyn Jenner
  4. Ronda Rousey
  5. Charlie Sheen
  6. Chris Kyle
  7. Sandra Bland
  8. Rachel Dolezal
  9. Stuart Scott
  10. Brian Williams

Top trending films:

  1. American Sniper
  2. Jurassic World
  3. Straight Outta Compton
  4. 50 Shades of Grey
  5. Pitch Perfect 2
  6. Furious 7
  7. Mad Max Fury Road
  8. Inside Out
  9. Avengers: Age of Ultron
  10. Spectre

Staff Writer

Benjamin Freed joined Washingtonian in August 2013 and covers politics, business, and media. He was previously the editor of DCist and has also written for Washington City Paper, the New York Times, the New Republic, Slate, and BuzzFeed. He lives in Adams Morgan.