Google's top searches in 2017: Hurricanes, Matt Lauer and Tom Petty

  • Google just released the list of the top trending searches in 2017.
  • Searches for Hurricane Irma, Matt Lauer and Tom Petty led to some of the biggest traffic surges.
A car is seen in a flooded street as Hurricane Irma passes through on September 10, 2017 in Miami, Florida.
Getty Images
A car is seen in a flooded street as Hurricane Irma passes through on September 10, 2017 in Miami, Florida.

Google just published its annual list of the top trending queries in the U.S., revealing the events and fads that people searched the most in 2017.

The top ones highlight just how tough a year it's been.

Hurricanes Irma and Harvey, which wreaked havoc across parts of the U.S. and Caribbean, were No. 1 and 8, respectively. The November Las Vegas massacre, which left scores dead, was fifth, three spots behind Matt Lauer, who was fired from NBC's "TODAY" show for sexual misconduct.

Tom Petty, the rock singer who died in October, was second. Aaron Hernandez, the former New England Patriots player and convicted murderer who committed suicide in April, was ninth.

On the lighter side, fidget spinner squeaked onto the list at 10th, and Super Bowl came in fourth.

Missing from the top trending list was Harvey Weinstein, the Hollywood producer whose downfall inspired the "#MeToo" movement after reports revealed his decades of sexual harassment. Also absent was Hurricane Maria, which left most of Puerto Rico without power.

And there was nothing explicitly related to Donald Trump, though that could be because Google specifically features search items that saw a spike in traffic this year from 2016.

The real top searches 

While Google's annual list of trending searches is always a nice little window into our collective curiosity, the actual list of the year's top searches is significantly less interesting. Because internet users have an apparent aversion to typing in web addresses, the most searched words are things like Facebook, Google, Craigslist and YouTube, along with, of course, weather.

Other categories 

Google also gleaned that the top three "What is..." searches: DACA, bitcoin and solar eclipse. The top three "How to..." searches were for making slime, making solar eclipse glasses and watching the eclipse.

Here are the top 10 trending searches in the U.S. You can check out all of Google's search data here:

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

Here are the top 10 trending searches globally:

1. Hurricane Irma

2. iPhone 8

3. iPhone X

4. Matt Lauer

5. Meghan Markle

6. 13 Reasons Why

7. Tom Petty

8. Fidget Spinner

9. Chester Bennington

10. India National Cricket Team