A Year in Search: Google Search Trends from 2018


December 31, 2018

2018 has come to a close and Google has released their most popular search trends for the year. This list is a great way to see how search has changed in Google over time – now that the search engine has turned 20 years old.

The annual Year in Search is a good reflection on the changing search trends, the latest cultural moments or events that shaped the most popular searches, but also what we can learn from all of these.

1. People searched for answers

It should come as no surprise that people asked Google a bunch of questions this year. With an increase in mobile search, people went to Google whether it was a practical question or a query to find a specific location.

In fact, location-based searches took up a large part of the 2018 searches.


This is important to take into consideration when thinking about your local search marketing.

2. Searches were very direct

“How to” and “What is” searches ended up being very direct and simple in 2018. It’s less common for people to type in complicated queries when looking for an answer. For example, while someone might type in “How do I turn off automatic updates for my iPhone 10,” it’s much more likely for them to keep it short – “How to turn off automatic updates.”

Even if you’re not aiming for a popular and general keyword, it’s still good to understand how to simplify your keywords in order to boost your search engine optimization (SEO).



3. People searched for ‘good’

According to Google, the world was searching for “good” in 2018 in a higher frequency than the previous years. People searched for different kinds of queries, from “how to be a good dancer” to “what makes a good role model.”

There are many brands that already benefit from this trend by focusing on social good and how they can make an impact while increasing their brand awareness. Just remember that ‘good stories’ can’t be forced. If your brand is trying too hard to inspire your audience, then the result might not be successful.



What Were the Most Popular Searches of 2018?

The most popular search queries have to do with:

  • big events

  • people who were in the spotlight

  • practical ‘how to’ questions

  • help to find a location

  • bigger questions answered briefly



Going into 2019, you can take some wisdom from these top search trends and apply it to your search engine optimization and marketing efforts. A closer look at this year’s search trends shows that queries are becoming more direct, specific, personal and even conversational in nature.

These trends can help us plan better campaigns, content, or ads by understanding what people search for, how the search queries are changing and how we can predict their search journey.

If you’d like to have an experienced digital marketing team to support your business and marketing campaigns in 2019 and beyond, give us a call at (407) 682-2222 for a free strategy session.

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