Google’s 2016 year in search: from Pokemon Go to politics

MacBook, coffee mug, and cactus

Updated on December 10, 2021

Google’s released its annual year in search summary for 2016. Like last year, it’s broken down by nation, various categories, and an overall global list.

Top 10 global searches

  1. Pokemon Go. The year’s most popular video game. It was all anyone was talking about this summer… for good reason, given other less-than-fun events.
  2. iPhone 7. Apple’s newest phone was released.
  3. Donald Trump. The highest ranking of the less-than-fun things about 2016. The consequences of US presidential elections are of global concern. However, the US electing this man as president will have even more global consequences than usual. No, none of them are good, unless you’re the Donald, share his views, or are a fellow 1%-er.
  4. Prince. The popular singer passed away this year.
  5. Powerball. Lotteries are popular, but this was from very early on in 2016. The Powerball hit a record-setting $1.6 billion jackpot in January.
  6. David Bowie. Another popular singer also passed away this year.
  7. Deadpool. The movie became one of the year’s biggest surprise hits. It’s the seventh highest grossing film of 2016 (as of this writing). “Deadpool”‘s global box office stands at $782.6 million (on a $58 million budget).
  8. Olympics. The 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio also dominated online conversations this summer.
  9. It’s a web browser and mobile game.
  10. Suicide Squad. Another hit film, at least in terms of box office (if not critically).

Top 10 global consumer tech searches

  1. iPhone 7
  2. Freedom 251
  3. iPhone SE
  4. iPhone 6S
  5. Google Pixel
  6. Samsung Galaxy S7
  7. iPhone 7 Plus
  8. Note 7
  9. Nintendo Switch
  10. Samsung J7

Oddly, the year’s most globally searched tech term was the iPhone 7, and not the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 debacle. Even Google’s own Pixel had more searches globally?

If wondering, the Freedom 251 is a low-end budget smartphone released in India.

Top 10 United States searches

  1. Powerball
  2. Prince
  3. Hurricane Matthew
  4. Pokeman Go. Yep, that’s how it’s spelled. Really, Americans? The franchise has been around 20 years…
  6. Olympics
  7. David Bowie
  8. Trump
  9. Election. Oddly, the election—despite being all-consuming, contentious, and with still-ongoing fallout—didn’t even make the top five of search terms for Americans.
  10. Hillary Clinton


The most searched movie globally was “Deadpool.” In the US, it was “Suicide Squad.”

Globally and domestically, the most searched TV show was the Netflix series “Stranger Things.”


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Anthony Dean

Anthony Dean is the owner of Diverse Tech Geek and Diverse Media Notes.

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