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Yes, You Really Are Googling Trump as Much as You Feared

Facebook and Amazon are still more popular, though.

A typical day on the internet in 2017.

Even seven months in to Donald Trump‘s term, it can still feel alarming just how often news related to the 45th president occurs. From sudden staff and cabinet moves, breaks in the investigation into the role Russia played in the 2016 election, and wayward tweets that spark fresh rounds of outrage, we’ve been shoved into an era of news-induced whiplash.

Other than “toss your devices in the sea” it’s difficult to come up with a prescription to avoid needing a neck brace in order to stay abreast of current events, but at least things have reached the point where we can chart out just how hectic and headline-filled Trump’s presidency has been. Via Axios, the Google News Lab charted 40 events related to Trump’s presidency, including guesses about the crowd size on January 20 to Attorney General Jeff Sessions‘s announcement that the administration plans to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals immigration program.

The big takeaway: So many headlines spew from the White House in 2017 that none of these stories stay above the rest of the zeitgeist for much longer than a day or two before the next crisis sets in, and often an event with important, far-reaching effects is overrun by the latest gossipy staff move. Trump’s July 26 decision to ban transgender individuals from serving in the military via Twitter, for instance, topped the search charts that day. But interest in that faded the next day in favor of searches related to Reince Priebus‘s ouster as White House chief of staff.

A few topics have shown some lasting interest, mainly the appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a special counsel investigating Russia’s ties to Trump’s 2016 campaign and North Korea. Apparently, insidious foreign attempts to corrupt an election and the threat of nuclear annihilation are strong enough to survive any one-day wave of search frenzy.

As for our own search habits, they’re Trump-heavy but he’s not the most-Googled query, according to Google Trends. In the United States, “Trump” is the 12th-most-frequent search term since his inauguration, below more useful queries like “Facebook,” “Google,” “weather,” and “Amazon.” In the Washington metropolitan area, he jumps up to eighth place. (However, the District of Columbia does enter Trump-related queries more frequently than every state.)

(Google scores trends on an index of 0 to 100, with 100 being the most-common search and a score of 50 meaning that term is searched half as often as the top trend. A 0 score indicates that search is performed less than 1 percent as often as the top.)

We can also see which communities in the region do the most Trump-related Googling. Chevy Chase is on top, followed by Bethsda, Potomac, Hyattsville, and McLean. The District itself is No. 12, only searching for Trump 76 percent as much as Chevy Chase.

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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.