Why it matters: Axios’ annual analysis of Google Trends data shows the rise and fall of America’s attention in a year of global upheaval.
By the numbers: These are the five news events that generated the biggest spike in Google searches this year.
- The FIFA World Cup, which concluded last week with Argentina’s victory — led by Lionel Messi.
- Ukraine, which continues to fight against Russia’s invasion launched early this year. Americans turned to Google in droves to find information about Ukraine.
- The Powerball jackpot, which set a new world record for a lottery prize this year at $2 billion.
- Will Smith, who snagged headlines after slapping Chris Rock at the Academy Awards.
- A tie: Search interest in Queen Elizabeth spiked around the time of her death; and searches about Russia surged during the first week of its invasion of Ukraine.
What we’re watching: Several topics were so momentous, they maintained high levels of attention for multiple weeks — and at times, multiple cycles.
- Russia’s invasion of Ukraine gripped the nation and held people’s attention for weeks as the war dragged on.
- The historic confirmation of Ketanji Brown Jackson, the overturning of Roe v. Wade and an attempted murder of Brett Kavanaugh, kept people Googling about the U.S. Supreme Court.