10 burning questions Americans asked Google in 2018
As 2018 draws to a close, Google is looking back on all the biggest questions Americans had throughout the year.
As part of its annual “Year in Search” series, the company released its list of the year’s most trending search topics beginning with the words “How to,” reminding us of all the things we needed help with in 2018.
Topics that made the cut were the ones that saw a spike in search traffic compared to the year before, Google said.
Questions about November’s midterm elections took the top two spots on the list, reflecting the surge in voter turnout that changed the national balance of power. Other trending questions included ones about massive lottery jackpots and another about buying cryptocurrency.
Read on for the full list of the year’s most trending “how-to” topics:
10. ‘How to get boogie down emote’
If you don’t know what any of the above words mean, don’t be alarmed. It comes from “Fortnite: Battle Royale,” the wildly popular free video game that in just over a year has generated more than $1 billion in revenue. In “Fortnite,” players can unlock “emotes,” or special victory dances for their characters — you’ve probably seen kids “flossing” at some point. The coveted “boogie down” emote was especially popular, it seems.
9. ‘How to screen record’
Apple doesn’t include instructions on how to capture screen recordings on its products, so Internet users turned to Google for the answers. Here’s our guide on how to screen record.
8. ‘How to buy Bitcoin’
In January, the question on millions of Americans’ minds was how to buy Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency that skyrocketed to $19,843 apiece in December 2017. Unfortunately for Bitcoin investors, the momentum didn’t hold, and the currency plummeted steadily throughout 2018. A year after it peaked, Bitcoin is worth a little over $3,000, and some experts fear it will never peak again.
7. ‘How to play Powerball’
In late October, four days after someone won the $1.57 billion Mega Millions jackpot, two lucky Americans won a Powerball jackpot worth $750 million. The massive prize was the fourth-largest in US history.
6. ‘How to get the old Snapchat back’
In February, Snapchat released a controversial redesign that separated users’ celebrity Snapchat stories from their friends’ stories. The update triggered backlash from plenty of users, including celebrities like Kylie Jenner and Chrissy Teigen. Snapchat eventually tweaked its design in May to satisfy users’ biggest complaints.
5. ‘How to turn off automatic updates’
Not many people like those pop-up notifications telling you it’s time to update new software on your computer or phone. So it’s no surprise people would flock to Google seeking how to turn those annoying updates off.
4. ‘How to buy Ripple’
When cryptocurrency mania hit its peak at the beginning of 2018, XRP, or Ripple, was one of the biggest beneficiaries. The digital coin was worth more than $120 billion at its January apex, with only Bitcoin proving more popular. Although the diehards are still holding on, the cryptocurrency is worth just 10% of its peak value today.
3. ‘How to play Mega Millions’
With more than $1.5 billion at stake, it’s no surprise Americans were Googling how to play the Mega Millions lottery. In October, the Mega Millions jackpot reached a near-record $1.54 billion, with one lucky player from South Carolina claiming the entire prize.
2. ‘How to register to vote’
The 2018 midterm elections prompted millions of people to search for instructions on how to register to vote. More than 800,000 people registered to vote on September’s National Voter Registration Day alone, setting the stage for a heavily contested election season.
1. ‘How to vote’
The most trending “how-to” search of the year was “how to vote,” according to Google. That comes as no surprise, as the 2018 US midterm elections dominated political headlines for much of the year. The elections saw the highest level of voter turnout for a midterm election in more than 100 years.