The top Google searches in 2016 in Australia

A lot has happened in 2016. It’s been a year full of huge sporting events such as The Olympics and Euro 2016. It’s also been the year where the world has been gripped on everything from the US election to Pokemon Go.

Google has released their datasets revealing the top Google searches worldwide. So we decided to take a look at the top Google searches within Australia for 2016.

What Australia was searching Google for in 2016

These are the top 10 trending Google searches Australia-wide:

1. US election

2. Olympics

3. Census

4. Euro 2016

5. Australian Open 2016

6. Pokemon Go

7. Donald Trump

8. iPhone 7

9. David Bowie

10. Prince

When taking a look at these top Google searches these search terms aren’t particularly surprising. The top 10 searches cover major news stories or events that have taken place during 2016 and their search peak varied throughout the year.

When we dig a little deeper though we can compare how certain search terms did against each other and how different search methods were more effective for different terms.

The top 2 searches were the US election followed by the Olympics. Searches were pretty even when Australians searched via News search but through Web searches Australians were almost 50% more likely to search for the Olympics than the US election.

Searches for the US election and searches for Donald Trump peaked in Australia in early November. Australians searched for the US election almost 2 times more often than they did for Donald Trump. But Australians were 6 times more likely to search for Donald Trump on YouTube than the US election on YouTube.

Similarly, Pokemon Go was searched for more times than Donald Trump was in Australia by a significant amount. Pokemon Go searches peaked in early-mid July whereas Donald Trump searches peaked in early November. But at their peak Australians searched for Pokemon Go almost 2 times more often than they did for Donald Trump. 

Web and YouTube searches for David Bowie and Prince were almost level but Australians were 40% more likely to search via the News for David Bowie.

The top Google searches by Australian state for 2016

We decided to take this data and divide it up by state to find out exactly which state was searching for what.

You can see in our wonderfully designed map of Australia what the top 2 Google searches of 2016 were by Australian state.


What we found when interpreting the data was that Australians in the Northern Territory seem to love searching on Google for all of the big stories. The Northern Territory came up top against every other state for almost all of the top 10 Google trending searches.

Interestingly, whilst the US election was searched for the most by Australia as a whole, not 1 state searched for that the most. Instead it appears that Prince and the census were the 2 most searched for terms when broken down by state. In fact, every state apart from New South Wales and Victoria searched for the census in their top 2 searches. And every state apart from the Northern Territory and Tasmania searched for Prince in their top 2 searches.

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