The World Cup, Meghan Markle and 'Black Panther' topped Google's 2018 global search trends

The top U.S. searches included Hurricane Florence, Mega Millions lottery results and 'Election Results.'
Image: Meghan Markle walks down the aisle in St George's Chapel in Windsor on May 19, 2018.
Meghan Markle walks down the aisle in St George's Chapel in Windsor on May 19, 2018.Danny Lawson / AFP - Getty Images file

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By Jasmin Boyce

The World Cup, Meghan Markle and “Black Panther” topped Google’s 2018 global search trends, while Unicorn cake, "Fortnite," and “how to apply magnetic lashes” rose to the top of searches in the U.S.

Google released its annual search engine trends on Wednesday, revealing the top searches of 2018 throughout the world as well as in the U.S. The terms reflected a variety of major events in subjects including politics, pop culture and tech.

The World Cup reigned as the most-searched topic in the U.S. and across the globe. The rest of the global top 10 was filled with celebrities who passed away in 2018, including electronic dance music pioneer Avicii, rapper Mac Miller, comic book legend Stan Lee, chef and television star Anthony Bourdain, rapper XXXTentacion, physicist Stephen Hawking and designer Kate Spade.

Meghan Markle, who married into the British royal family in May, ranked No. 6 on Google’s global search list for 2018 and was the only living person to make the top 10.

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The top U.S. searches included Hurricane Florence, Mega Millions lottery results and “Election Results.” Google Trends released the most popular search topics for 67 individual countries, as well as global trends in the Google search box.

Simon Rogers, a data editor at Google News Lab, introduced the trends in a blog post, reflecting on the search engine’s role during the year’s turbulent “highs and lows.”

“In a year when we said goodbye to many cultural icons, like Anthony Bourdain and Aretha Franklin, people searched for how they, too, could influence the next generation, asking ‘how to be a good role model,’” Rogers wrote. “And when first responders rescued a team of soccer players from a cave in Thailand, the world was inspired — searches for ‘scuba diving lessons near me’ increased by 110% that week.”

Google continued to dominate the search engine market in 2018, serving as a platform for people to search for not only “everyday queries, but also the moments, people, ideas, and questions that made that trip around the sun so unique,” Rogers wrote.

Google also broke down the most popular searches by subject, providing a window into some of the major U.S. trends of 2018. In beauty, “how to apply magnetic lashes” was the top search. In video games, smash hit “Fortnite” led the pack. In diets, the high-fat, low-carb Keto diet topped the list.

The most post popular how-to question of the year in the U.S. was “How to vote,” while the most searched-for politician in 2018 was Stacey Abrams, Georgia’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate.

In 2018, the top fashion search in Google was 1980’s fashion, while Fashion Nova took the top search spot in fashion brands, surpassing designer brands including Louis Vuitton and Versace

And topping all questions in 2018: “what is Bitcoin?