So, let’s start with the world of film, with the movie that was Googled the most being Barbie – which just edged out Oppenheimer (you might have guessed that’d follow in second, given the whole ‘Barbenheimer’ thing).
Onto the TV shows, where we have The Last of Us as the most popular search, followed by Wednesday – no surprises there given the stir created by the latter (which was excellent), and the game connection with the former (which was also excellent).
Following that we have Ginny & Georgia, One Piece, and in fifth position Kaleidoscope.
In the world of music – this is the bit that makes us feel really old – the most searched song was アイドル or Idol by Yoasobi (the theme music from anime series Oshi no Ko, apparently), then Try That In A Small Town by Jason Aldean. That was followed in third by Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 53 (Shakira and Bizarrap) Unholy (Sam Smith and Kim Petras) and then Cupid (Fifty Fifty) in fifth place.
As for the most searched musicians, they were topped by Shakira, then Jason Aldean (mirroring his placing in the song bracket), Joe Jonas, Smash Mouth in fourth (whose singer Steve Harwell sadly passed away this year), then Peppino di Capri.
Check here for the full lowdown on Google’s search term popularity during 2023, which covers all manner of topics, from news through sports stars to more niche picks like the top searches for museums.
Analysis: Our ever-changing searches
Also related to music searches we have Google’s rankings for the top songs used with its ‘hum to search’ functionality, two of which were, interestingly, by the Imagine Dragons – Bones was number one, in fact, and Believer number five. Idol by Yoasobi also pitched in here (pun not intended) at number three.
And related to movies, the top actors were Jeremy Renner, then Jenna Ortega, with Ichikawa Ennosuke IV in third, then Danny Masterson, and Pedro Pascal in fifth (who should have been higher, surely?).
It’d be remiss if we didn’t also mention the top searches for games, with pole position held by Hogwarts Legacy, ahead of The Last of Us. Connections was at number three, followed by Battlegrounds Mobile India, and Starfield managed to secure fifth place – just beating Baldur’s Gate 3 into sixth place.
It’s also worth noting that Google revealed its Trends Time Capsule which looks at top searches in the past. Using this, we can see that, for example, World of Warcraft was the most searched game from 2005 all the way through to, and including, 2010. Minecraft held the top spot for six consecutive years, also, from 2012 to 2017, but one-upped Warcraft as it returned to pole position in 2020-2021.
There’s some interesting material to explore here, for sure, and you’ll likely find these various rankings a bit of a time sink. We certainly did – now, what was the most popular sauce in 2002...
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Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).