For the love of sport (and Katie Taylor) – what the Irish googled in 2012

December 11, 2012


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Just a few days before Google releases its run down of the world’s most popular search terms for 2012 the company has let us know what the Irish have been searching for this year, and the answer is (mostly) love and sports (mostly Katie Taylor).

According to Google Ireland’s analytics of the most searched for terms in the country Irish users have spent 2012 looking for love, advice, and (as you would expect in an Olympic year) sports.  The recession and the country’s response to deepening austerity measures make several impressions on the search results.

This mix is no more visible than in the number of “How to…” searches conducted in Ireland. Apart from wanting to know how to make-and-do with searches looking for instruction on how to draw, crochet, and knit, the Irish turned to Google to learn how to also learn how to kiss and how flirt.  This love-in-recessionary-times theme is picked up in Google’s list of Irish “What is…” searches where the most searched for term was “what is love?”

Top Trending How to….

  1. Draw
  2. Kiss
  3. Crochet
  4. Make
  5. Knit
  6. Study
  7. Hack
  8. Meditate
  9. Flirt
  10. Announce

Apart from love, the Irish had a few questions about technology.  They wanted to know what Apple’s iCloud was as well as what Instagram, PayPal and Tumblr are.  Txtspeak makes the list with, what we can only assume are parents, searching for “what is yolo” (the answer is You Only Live Once, in case you’re wondering).

Worryingly the Irish were also curious what soap is (hopefully the recession isn’t biting that hard!).

Top Trending What is….?

  1. Love
  2. icloud
  3. Scientology
  4. Instagram
  5. Autism
  6. Soap
  7. Yolo
  8. Tracking
  9. PayPal
  10. Tumblr


As you’d expect in the year of the London Olympics, Olympians dominate the lists for the most googled sports stars.  But it’s not just Irish Olympic hopefuls that the country was searching for; US swimmer Ryan Lochte was the biggest trending athlete in Ireland, while the UK’s Bradley Wiggins was the second.

Top Trending Athletes

  1. Ryan Lochte
  2. Bradley Wiggins
  3. David Rudisha
  4. Mark McHugh
  5. Mo Farah
  6. Michael Phelps
  7. Jessica Ennis
  8. Usain Bolt
  9. Simon Zebo
  10. Oscar Pistorius

Of Ireland’s own Olympic team, golden girl Katie Taylor is leader of the pack, followed by fellow boxers and medal winners, John Joe Nevin and Paddy Barnes.

Most Searched in 2012 Irish Olympians

  1. Katie Taylor
  2. John Joe Nevin
  3. Paddy Barnes
  4. Annalise Murphy
  5. Jason Smyth
  6. Michael Conlan
  7. Kieran Behan
  8. Melanie Nocher
  9. Camilla Speirs
  10. Olive Loughnane

Away from the Olympics Ireland’s national obsessions of golf, football, hurling, and rugby all feature prominently in the 2012 search results.

Top Trending Sports Teams

  1. Ryder Cup team
  2. Ulster rugby
  3. Galway hurling
  4. Mayo football
  5. Kilkenny hurling
  6. Donegal football
  7. Chelsea FC
  8. Leinster rugby
  9. Connacht rugby
  10. Manchester united

Celebrities and people

Two Kates take the top spots for the most searched for people. Ireland’s Katie Taylor makes another appearance: as the most searched for person while the UK’s Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton takes second place.

Two celebrities that were lost in 2012, Whitney Houston and Michael Clarke Duncan, also feature in the list. Missing Welsh school girl April Jones was the third most googled person in Ireland.  Only three men make the list of the most searched for person, Morgan Freeman, Michael Clarke Duncan and Newcastle United player Demba Ba.

Top Trending People

  1. Katie Taylor
  2. Kate Middleton
  3. April Jones
  4. Whitney Houston
  5. Jill Meagher
  6. Rosanna Davison
  7. Morgan Freeman
  8. Michael Clarke Duncan
  9. Demba ba
  10. Amanda Todd

Ireland’s international acting talent make up most of the list of the most googled celebrities in Ireland. While Michael Fassbender, Liam Neeson, Ciarán Hinds, Daniel Day Lewis, Pearce Brosnan, Cillian Murphy, Colm Meaney, and Colin Farrell take the lion’s share of the places, the top spot is saved for TV personality and presenter Craig Doyle.

The only woman on the list is Anne Doyle, one of the country’s longest serving TV news anchors, who retired earlier this year.

Top Trending Celebrities

  1. Craig Doyle
  2. Michael Fassbender
  3. Liam Neeson
  4. Ciaran Hinds
  5. Daniel Day Lewis
  6. Pierce Brosnan
  7. Cillian Murphy
  8. Colm Meaney
  9. Anne Doyle
  10. Colin Farrell

TV and Music

2012 was a great year for American TV but the people of Ireland were more interested in home-grown talent than US imports.  All but two of the most searched for shows in Ireland were either produced in the country or had strong storylines featuring Ireland.  Homeland was the only US show to make Ireland’s top ten.  The UK’s Downton Abbey, which featured storylines about Ireland’s independence, was the only UK show to make the list (although part of Mrs Brown’s Boys is produced in the UK).  Australian import, Home and Away, made a late entry at number eight this year.

Top Trending TV Shows

  1. Moone Boy
  2. Craig Doyle Show
  3. Homeland
  4. Love/Hate
  5. The Voice
  6. Downton Abbey
  7. Mrs Browns Boys
  8. Home and Away
  9. Fair City
  10. Ear to the Ground

Ireland’s musical searches feature an even mix of Irish and international flavours.  Reformed Dublin band, Kodaline, were the most search for group in the country. Followed by the  X-factor’s Little Mix and One Direction.

Top Trending Music Bands

  1. Kodaline
  2. Little Mix
  3. One Direction
  4. The Blizzards
  5. Delorentos
  6. The Killers
  7. Muse
  8. Coldplay
  9. Damien Dempsey
  10. The Wanted

News and Politics

Ireland’s Taoiseach (Prime Minister), who featured on the cover of Time Magazine earlier in the year, was the most searched for political figure of the year.  But worryingly (if Google searches are any indication of popularity…) his coalition partner, Eamon Gilmore, was searched for less often than the leader of the opposition party, Micheál Martin.

Most Searched Politicians in 2012

  1. Enda Kenny
  2. Phil Hogan
  3. James Reilly
  4. Micheál Martin
  5. Leo Varadkar
  6. Joan Burton
  7. Alan Shatter
  8. Ruairi Quinn
  9. Sean Sherlock
  10. Eamon Gilmore

As for news searches, it’s more of the same – celebrities and sport.

Top Trending News Searches

  1. Euro 2012
  2. Katie Taylor
  3. Whitney Houston
  4. Household charge
  5. April Jones
  6. Jill Meagher
  7. Hurricane Sandy
  8. Rosanna Davison
  9. Ryder Cup 2012
  10. Muamba

Overall top searches

Overall in Ireland, sports, money, and celebrities/news figures were the most googled topics of 2012.  Surprisingly Euro 2012 was more popular than Olympics 2012 as a search term and Katie Taylor was the second most searched for topic (after Euro 2012) of the year.

Again, Ireland’s Katie Taylor beat the UK’s Kate Middleton in terms of rankings.

Netflix, which launched in Ireland and the UK in January, was the most searched for technology of the year.  The government’s charge on homeownership, the Universal Household Charge, was the most googled political item.

Top Trending Searches

  1. Euro 2012
  2. Katie Taylor
  3. Kate Middleton
  4. Netflix
  5. April Jones
  6. Whitney Houston
  7. Olympics 2012
  8. Household charge
  9. AIB Internet
  10. Jill Meagher


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Ajit Jain

Ajit Jain is marketing and sales head at Octal Info Solution, a leading iPhone app development company and offering platform to hire Android app developers for your own app development project. He is available to connect on Google Plus, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


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