Google’s top searches of 2017 were Hurricane Irma, Matt Lauer

The top searches in the US also included bitcoin, the solar eclipse and soon-to-be member of the royal family Meghan Markle.

Richard Nieva Former senior reporter
Richard Nieva was a senior reporter for CNET News, focusing on Google and Yahoo. He previously worked for PandoDaily and Fortune Magazine, and his writing has appeared in The New York Times, on CNNMoney.com and on CJR.org.
Richard Nieva
2 min read
Matt Lauer, who was fired from NBC's "Today" show after allegations of sexual harassment, was one of Google's top search queries of the year.

Matt Lauer, who was fired from NBC's "Today" show after allegations of sexual harassment, was one of Google's top search queries of the year.

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This was the year of #MeToo and hurricanes.

And that was reflected in the way people searched for stuff online. Google said Wednesday that the two top trending topics of 2017 in the US were "Hurricane Irma" and "Matt Lauer." In Google parlance, "top trending" means they had the highest spike in traffic over a certain period of time this year compared to last year. The search giant also released a list of top global searches that featured a variety of queries about Apple's iPhone. 

Hurricane Irma was the storm that ravaged the Caribbean and Florida Keys in September. Lauer is the former co-host of NBC's "Today" show, who was fired last month amid allegations of sexual harassment.

Watch this: Top Google searches of 2017

Google is the world's largest search engine and one of the most iconic sites on the internet. So popular search queries give us a good look into what people were thinking about over the past year. Last year, people mourned Prince, got lottery fever and, not surprisingly, searched all about the US election.

As for this year, it was a moment of reckoning for powerful men behaving badly. Lauer was just one of many prominent men in media, entertainment and tech who was called out for alleged sexual misconduct -- a list that includes producer Harvey Weinstein, comedian Louis CK and music mogul Russell Simmons. The movement spawned a widely shared hashtag, #MeToo, used by women to demonstrate the far-reaching prevalence of sexual harassment.

On the lighter side of searches, the top-queried person after Lauer, not including searches for people who died, was Meghan Markle. The actress announced her engagement to Prince Harry last month.

When it came to news events, people were concerned about hurricanes. Irma, Harvey, Jose and Maria took four out of the 10 spots on the top trending news searches of the year. Other news stories that piqued people's interest were the solar eclipse and the price of the cryptocurrency bitcoin.

Check out the full lists below.


  1. Hurricane Irma

  2. Matt Lauer

  3. Tom Petty

  4. Super Bowl

  5. Las Vegas shooting

  6. Mayweather vs McGregor Fight

  7. solar eclipse

  8. Hurricane Harvey

  9. Aaron Hernandez

  10. fidget spinner

People (not including deaths)

  1. Matt Lauer

  2. Meghan Markle

  3. Harvey Weinstein

  4. Michael Flynn

  5. Kevin Spacey

  6. Bill O'Reilly

  7. Melania Trump

  8. Kathy Griffin

  9. Milo Yiannopoulos

  10. Gal Gadot


  1. Hurricane Irma

  2. Las Vegas shooting

  3. solar eclipse

  4. Hurricane Harvey

  5. bitcoin price

  6. North Korea

  7. Hurricane Jose

  8. Hurricane Maria

  9. April the giraffe

  10. DACA

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