Hurricane Irma was the hottest search query last year on global, national and statewide levels, according to Google Trends.
Hurricane Irma was a powerful storm that hit the Caribbean islands and then Florida and surrounding states in late-August through early-September. Searches spiked Sept. 3-9 and tapered off after Sept. 17, according to Google.
Searches for iPhone 8 and iPhone X ranked second and third, respectively, worldwide. Also on the list were searches for former “Today” show anchor Matt Lauer, who was involved in a sexual misconduct scandal late in the year; Meghan Markle, the American actress recently engaged to British royal Prince Harry; and rock musician Tom Petty, who died in October. Fidget spinners also were among the trending search topics worldwide, according to the data.
The list of queries that showed the biggest spikes specifically in the U.S. also included Lauer, Petty and fidget spinners, in addition to searches regarding the Super Bowl, the mass shooting that took place in Las Vegas in October, Mayweather vs. McGregor fight, total solar eclipse in August and Hurricane Harvey, which hit Texas and Louisiana in August.
Among the trending Google searches in Arkansas for the year were – in order of the most popular – Hurricane Irma, fidget spinner, Wal-Mart Black Friday 2017, Super Bowl 2017, bitcoin, North Korea, Nintendo Switch, “Beauty and the Beast” and Arkansas Razorback Basketball.
Unique to central Arkansas were surges in Google queries for lyrics of the pop song “Despacito.” Searches for this topic surged during the summer, according to Google Trends. Jonesboro had a unique interest in April the giraffe, who gave birth on livestreaming video in April at Animal Adventure Park in New York. In the Fort Smith-Northwest Arkansas region, Google users showed unique interest in the late artist Chihuly, whose glass sculpting work was featured in an indoor-outdoor exhibit this past fall at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville.
Google Trends also broke down the Google search data into categories like news, people and sports.
Hurricane Harvey and bitcoin rounded out the news category on a national level.
In the people category, former national security adviser Michael Flynn, in addition to Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey, both involved in sexual misconduct scandals this past year, were in the top five most-searched nationwide.
Gal Gadot, star of “Wonder Woman” and “Justice League,” actress Meryl Streep and comedian Louis C.K., who also was named in sexual misconduct allegations this past year, were among the most-Googled actors.
The list of movies that saw the biggest surge in searches in 2017 included the horror films “IT” and “Get Out,” in addition to “Wonder Woman.”
Popular Google searches for musicians included hip hop artist Cardi B, rapper Lil Pump and country music singer Jason Aldean.
Google Trends also broke down the searches under the category of calorie counts, and U.S. Google users in 2017 were most concerned with the amount of calories in Starbuck’s Unicorn Frappuccino, the Mc Donald’s Grand Mac, Taco Bell’s Naked Chicken Chalupa.