2017 is nearly over, and for most people it’s been like Marmite – you’ve either loved it or hated it.
For one American actress in particular, it’s been an amazing 12 months. Guess who: Mid-30s, born in Los Angeles, television fans love her, famous partner, treated like royalty… yep, you guessed it: Kim Kardashian (below).
Kardashian, who has starred in such films as Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor (no, me neither), racked up 43% more searches on Microsoft’s search engine than Markle this year. However, Mrs Kanye West’s reign at the top of the charts is set to be short-lived, with public interest in Markel expected to surge when she becomes a member of the Royal Family next summer.
However, Markle did capture the public’s attention at the Invictus Games, landing 39% of all searches around the event after she was pictured with Harry in the stands.
Taylor Swift was the third most searched-for celebrity, after the singer-songwriter released her sixth album. Reputation was the best-selling album in the US over the past year.
With Brexit rumbling on and Donald Trump tipping the world into chaos every time he tweeted, it’s little surprise that people have been searching for things to take their minds off impending Armageddon.
Take TV programmes, for example. There were 24% more Bing searches for Game of Thrones than Brexit in 2017, with the fantasy drama sharing the crown with Strictly Come Dancing for most searched-for show. Strictly won 17% more searches than Brexit, and 16 times more than reality rival Bake Off.
Back to Brexit, and there were twice as many searches for “fidget spinner” than the UK’s exit from the EU – proving that people may not be completely fed up of the Government’s ongoing talks with Brussels, as they still like to see something that goes round and round in circles.
“We have well and truly observed the repercussions of last year’s elections and events. In some ways the resulting headlines made this year feel hyper-real, but the data does show that in 2017 we have kept calm and carried on,” said Kevin Stagg, Head of Marketing at Bing.
Sticking with politics, there were more Bing searches for “Jeremy Corbyn” than “Theresa May” this year, and 78% more queries for “BBC weather” than all those related to the US President.
Tenerife and Benidorm topped the list for weather-related searches.
While things were heating up in the boxing ring for the hugely anticipated match between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor in August, Anthony Joshua took the title for most searched-for UK fighter and sportsperson. The Watford-born star received more than twice the search traffic than Irish mixed martial artist McGregor. Joshua also fought off competition from other sports stars, raking in almost two and a half times the traffic of British F1 driver Lewis Hamilton, and more than four times the traffic of Mo Farah, who ran and won his last ever competitive track race this year.
“The significant role that search plays in our lives reflects our natural curiosity about the world around us. Observing trends therefore reveals a lot about our culture and where we place our attention. Some of the insights may surprise but ultimately, they demonstrate the connections we seek with other people, events, and generally the world around us,” said Stagg.