TORONTO – The death of a beloved actor, quadrennial sporting events, a new smartphone, and a deadly outbreak topped Google Canada’s annual list of the most popular trending search queries.
After excluding routine searches that are entered by users every day of every year – most commonly for Facebook, Google itself, and YouTube – Robin Williams was found to be the top trending search term of 2014 in Canada.
Soccer’s World Cup was second, followed by the iPhone 6, the Winter Olympics, Ebola, the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, “Hunger Games” star Jennifer Lawrence, the late Joan Rivers, Jian Ghomeshi and the disease ALS, which went viral as the ice bucket challenge spread around the world.
After Ghomeshi, the top trending searches for Canadian people were former Toronto mayor Rob Ford, the late former finance minister Jim Flaherty, tennis star Eugenie Bouchard, and Olympic bronze medallist snowboarder Mark McMorris.
The shootings on Parliament Hill came in seventh on the list of top Canadian searches for events, behind the World Cup, the Olympics, the disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines plane in March, the Ebola outbreak, the Ukraine-Russia conflict, and the Wimbledon tennis tournament. The Scottish referendum was eighth, the Justin Bourque manhunt in Moncton was ninth, and the Toronto municipal election was tenth.
Google users typically start queries with “how to” and the most common of those searches in Canada were vote, blog, puree, fundraise, Snapchat, kayak, tune, wean, moonwalk and henna.
For “What is” searches, Canadians most frequently typed in ALS, Ebola, ISIS, Bitcoin, Uber, Gamergate, Alibaba, Tinder, liposarcoma and skiathlon.