The FIFA World Cup proved the highest trending search on Google in the UK and globally for 2018, according to the search engine.
Google has released its annual Year In Search trends for 2018, which makes for positive reading for the sports industry, with the World Cup eclipsing Meghan Markle and the Royal Wedding as the highest ‘UK Top Trending Query.’
In the same category last year, there wasn’t a single sporting-related representative in the top ten trending for 2017.
Google defines top trending queries as searches with a high spike in traffic over a sustained period over the past 12 months compared to the previous year.
As a result, the ‘World Cup,' held this summer in Russia, also proved the most searched term both in the United States and globally.
The World Cup was the ‘UK Top Trending Sporting Event’ to be searched on Google, aided by England’s progression to the semi-finals of the competition.
The rest of the top five in sport consisted of Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury, the Grand National, Wimbledon, which topped the list in 2017, and the Winter Olympics.
Completing the top ten was the Ryder Cup, Commonwealth Games, Super Bowl, Anthony Joshua vs. Joseph Parker and finally the Cheltenham Festival.
Of the ‘UK Top Trending People’, topped by Meghan Markle, Manchester United striker Alexis Sanchez came in sixth, after his January signing from Premier League rivals Arsenal.
The Chilean came in one place ahead of former Old Trafford boss Sir Alex Ferguson, following his emergency surgery in May.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang completed the shortlist of ten, triggered by his transfer to Arsenal from Borussia Dortmund earlier this year.
This was a stark improvement on last year, when there wasn’t a single sporting figure amongst the ten highest searched individuals.
‘How to watch Fury vs. Wilder’ came out on top of the ‘UK Top Trending ‘How To…? Queries.’
In that same category, ‘How to watch the Champions League final?’ proved the third most searched query, falling behind ‘How to floss dance?’
Meanwhile, ‘What is UEFA Nations League?’ finished in the top ten of top trending questions of the year, alongside ‘What is the Commonwealth?’, a query prompted by the Commonwealth Games in Australia in April.
The World Cup final influenced the most searched for travel destinations, with Moscow, the host city for the showcase climax of the tournament, coming out on top for the highest trending flight searches for 2018.
Kirstin Wright, a Google Search Trends expert, added: “The 2018 Year in Search lists give us an insight into the things that captured the nation’s attention over the past 12 months - from major moments in news, sports and entertainment, through to the latest dance craze.
“Twenty years after its launch, Google Search continues to evolve as people look for information in new and different ways, but our focus remains the same - to make the world’s information accessible and useful to everyone.”
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