Google Trends: Understanding NZ Search Habits in 2018

What did 2018 look like for New Zealand, from the perspective of Google? In other words, what were we, as a nation, looking for? The results are in on Google Trends – and they may surprise you.

Among other things it seems that we, as a nation, struggle to cut mangos, have a hankering for vegan recipes, and collectively struggle to tell time (the question “what is the time” features as the 8th most popular ‘What is…?’ search query). And it appears that people in the Hawke’s Bay struggle at telling the time the most.

So, what are 2018’s most surprising searches, and what do they tell us about New Zealanders? Read on to find out.

Kiwis Love Their Sports

Is anyone surprised that Kiwis love their sports? Overall, some of the most popular searches were directly concerned with last year’s sporting events.

In order, these were the 2018 FIFA World Cup (the most popular search – even despite New Zealand not qualifying), the Commonwealth Games (3rd most popular) and the All Blacks vs France (10th most popular).

It’s Partly About The Politics

Jacinda Ardern remains popular – that much is obvious. The only NZ figure who edges out Jacinda Ardern in search popularity is the late social media entertainer, Johnny Danger.

Tougher luck for Simon Bridges, who was edged out by former National (and now Independent) MP Jami Lee Ross, in an epic scandal that covered in-party bullying, alleged sexual harassment, and accusations of a cover-up by Bridges.

‘How To’ and ‘What Is’?

We all use Google to help clear up those common problems we face in every day. Yet, the most common ‘How To’ questions may surprise you. While it is hard to tell if this is part of a broader cultural pushback, topping the list was ‘How to delete Instagram accounts’. It may be that New Zealand is waking up to privacy concerns, particularly in the wake of Facebook’s blasé attitude to user security, or maybe New Zealanders are simply looking for the next big social media thing.

Meanwhile, New Zealanders are wondering most about Bitcoin, as the controversial crypto-currency continues to drastically fluctuate in value and generate worldwide headlines. Second on the list of ‘What is…?’ questions are searches querying mycoplasma bovis – with a large spike in search queries after the outbreak of the deadly bovine disease in the middle of the year.

How You Can Use Google Trends

Google Trends lies at the heart of the Year in Search 2018. Yet, the reflection of our nation’s most popular search queries is really only the top layer of an incredibly potent tool.

Put simply, Google Trends is a tool that can be a powerhouse for your business, working to generate insights about historical and recent search data, relevant to you. While it is cliché to say, the limits to Google Trends come down to your creativity as a searcher – the insights that you can generate through Google Trends, for free, could be pivotal for your business. You can find out about historical search trends for specific queries related to your business, cross reference queries (for example, see how popular, in Google Search Taylor Swift is versus Kim Kardashian), figure out geographical trends related to search queries and much, much more.

We highly recommend diving into Google Trends and checking out the insights. It could be a game changer for your business.

To see the rest of the top searches for 2018 globally and locally, check out Google’s data here.

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