Bowie, Brexit, Black Lives Matter: Google looks back on 2016 - Metro US

Bowie, Brexit, Black Lives Matter: Google looks back on 2016

By all unofficial and unscientific metrics, 2016 was a tumultuous year.

Pop music icons like Prince and David Bowie and acting luminaries like Alan Rickman and Gene Wilder all died. In the leadup to the presidential election pitting Hilary Clinton against Donald Trump, false news pieces had more sway over the national discussion at times than did top-performing stories from established news sites. The Black Lives Matter movement, which formed three years ago, continued to capture attention as tensions grew between the group and police organizations.

And around the world, terror groups sowed violence.

But 2016 has not been all bad, and none other than Google has catalogued the results, releasing its lists of the most-searched topics.

Hope sprung eternal, with the Powerball lottery topping overall searches in the U.S. Interest peaked in early January, when the jackpot mushroomed to $1.58 billion.

Prince followed in the No. 2 slot, with search queries for the pop star spiking in April following his death.

Hurricane Matthew came in third, with Pokemon Go and “Slither.io” — an online multiplayer game similar to “Snake” of the early cell phone days — rounding out the top five.

For the news search category, the Rio Olympics took home the gold. In at No. 2 was the U.S. election, followed by the shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., at three then Brexit and news about the Zikavirus.

President-elect Donald Trump, not surprisingly, was the most-searched figure in 2016. In at No. 2? You guessed it, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

In topics related to Trump searches, Google lists Billy Bush, Super Tuesday, Mike Pence, the Iraq War, Alec Baldwin and electoral delegates. For Clinton, related searches include the terms body double, syncope, epileptic seizure, Mike Pence and Tim Kaine.

In its Losses category, which tracks notable deaths, Google listed David Bowie, Christina Grimmie, Muhammad Ali, Alan Rickman, Jose Fernandez and Gene Wilder among the most searched.

Google also dedicated a section to GIFs and memes, which offered humor in darker moments, like Harambe:

and Puppy Monkey Baby:

Of course, athletes and teams shined this year, too. Some of Google’s biggest sports searches included the Chicago Cubs, which broke a 108-year-old drought (and curse) to win the World Series. Also notable was Simone Biles, who took home four gold medals at the Rio Olympics with a round of firsts for women; and Colin Kaepernick, whose refusal to stand during the National Anthem vaulted him to international fame or infamy, depending on your position.

On the small screen, Google’s list of most-searched TV shows included “Stranger Things,” “Making a Murderer,” “Fuller House,” “Westworld” and “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.”

Check out the full list and even search by country or globally for a view of what happened in 2016 around the world. There is also a video Google produced that will surely warm the heart.

Have a favorite moment Google didn’t list? Tell us in the comments.

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