Judging By Google Searches, Here Are The Things Americans Were Most Clueless About In 2014

Here’s to a hopefully better 2015.

Ready to feel old? 2014 is basically over.


Every year Google rounds up all the stuff you searched for over the past 12 months and packages it into something called the Google Zeitgeist. The microsite culls data from “trillions of searches” and is always an interesting window into history: Which famous celebrity died? Which weird memes took off? What overblown media panic is threatening to wipe out humanity?

The top searches of 2014 don’t reveal anything very surprising, and as a whole, the year was, well, disheartening. The official Google Zeitgeist video above is full of predictable Silicon Valley cheese, so you’re better off exploring the results yourself.

The top search in the United States was for Robin Williams, followed by the World Cup, and then Ebola. Leading the way for most-searched people is Jennifer Lawrence, followed by gaming empress Kim Kardashian, then Tracy Morgan, respectively.

There’s some fun stuff too, like the most-searched-for selfies, the top dog-related searches, and the most-asked “What is … ” questions. Makes you think.

Check out the rest of the results here, and here’s to 2015.

Top Searches


1. Robin Williams
2. World Cup
3. Ebola
4. Malaysia Airlines
5. Flappy Bird
6. ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
8. Ferguson
9. Frozen
10. Ukraine

Top “What is … ” Questions

1. What is ALS?
2. What is Ebola?
3. What is ISIS?
4. What is Bitcoin?
5. What is Asphyxia?
6. What is Gamergate?
7. What is WhatsApp?
8. What is MERS?
9. What is Hamas?
10. What is Airdrop?

Top People

1. Jennifer Lawrence
2. Kim Kardashian
3. Tracy Morgan
4. Ray Rice
5. Tony Stewart
6. Iggy Azalea
7. Donald Sterling
8. Adrian Peterson
9. Renée Zellweger
10. Jared Leto

Top Dog Searches


1. Why do dogs eat grass?
2. Do dogs dream?
3. Why do dogs howl?
4. Why do dogs have whiskers?
5. Why do dogs chase their tails?
6. How to clean dogs’ ears?
7. Why are dogs’ noses wet?
8. How to stop dogs from digging?
9. How to introduce dogs
10. Why do dogs bury bones?

Top Selfies

1. Oscar selfie
2. Monkey selfie
3. Obama selfie
4. Squirrel selfie
5. David Ortiz selfie
6. Zach Mettenberger selfie
7. Colin Powell selfie
8. Elephant selfie
9. Shark selfie
10. Plane crash selfie

Top Calorie Searches

1. How many calories are in a banana?
2. How many calories are in pumpkin pie?
3. How many calories are in an apple?
4. How many calories are in an egg?
5. How many calories are in an avocado?
6. How many calories are in a cheeseburger?
7. How many calories are in a Big Mac?
8. How many calories are in watermelon?
9. How many calories are in an orange?
10. How many calories in a slice of pizza?

Top Memes


1. Tim Howard memes
2. Kermit memes
3. Memo Ochoa memes
4. Kim Kardashian memes
5. Brazil (national football team) memes
6. Solange memes
7. Frozen memes
8. Peyton Manning memes
9. Flappy Bird memes
10. Doge memes

See Google’s Zeitgeist for 2013, 2012, and 2011.


About the author

Chris is a staff writer at Fast Company, where he covers business and tech. He has also written for The Week, TIME, Men's Journal, The Atlantic, and more