The troubling trend in Australia's most googled people.

According to big data scientist Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, Google is far more than a search engine. In many ways, it’s a window into the human psyche – a tool that allows us to learn all sorts of secrets people would never say out loud.

What we Google speaks volumes about what we care about and what we’re desperate to understand.

On Friday, Google released their Year in Search data for 2018 – presenting the most common terms Aussies searched for this year. The most popular search term overall was ‘World Cup,’ followed by ‘Commonwealth Games,’ followed by ‘Meghan Markle’.

If you were existing and online during 2018, you won’t be a surprised by a majority of their findings. Divided into categories likes ‘news events’, ‘global figures,’ and ‘why is…?,’ the top terms were ones most of us really have typed into our search bar at some point in 2018.

News events

  1. Royal Wedding
  2. Thai cave rescue
  3. Wentworth by-election
  4. My health record
  5. Beaumont children
  6. Hawaii volcano
  7. California fires
  8. Listeria
  9. US midterm elections
  10. Blood moon

Global figures

  1. Meghan Markle
  2. Demi Lovato
  3. Freddie Mercury
  4. Khloe Kardashian
  5. Logan Paul
  6. Tristan Thompson
  7. Hailey Baldwin
  8. Sylvester Stallone
  9. Khabib
  10. Travis Scott

Why is…?

  1. Why is State of Origin on Sunday
  2. Why is it called Good Friday
  3. Why is Russia OAR
  4. Why is Australia Day Jan 26
  5. Why is Tim Cahill not playing tonight
  6. Why is ANZAC Day important
  7. Why is Australia Day celebrated
  8. Why is my internet so slow
  9. Why is Nick Cummins called the honey badger
  10. Why is my poop green

But the one list I found myself surprised by was Australia’s most Googled local figures – the Aussie people that generated the most search traffic in 2018.

Of the top 10, nine were men.

The only woman to be featured, at number six, was Vikki Campion – whose name is known publicly because of her relationship with Australian politician Barnaby Joyce.


  1. Barnaby Joyce
  2. Scott Morrison
  3. Peter Dutton
  4. Billy Slater
  5. Craig McLachlan
  6. Vikki Campion
  7. David Warner
  8. Chopper Read
  9. Nick Cummins
  10. Andrew Gaff

The list was composed of three politicians, but also sporting stars (Billy Slater, David Warner, Andrew Gaff), a reality star (Nick Cummins), a criminal (Chopper Read), and an actor accused of sexual harassment (Craig McLachlan).

No woman, known for her own achievements or status or influence, made the top 10.


Is it just a coincidence? Did the news cycle in 2018 just happen to revolve primarily around men? The leadership spill certainly had Australians consulting Google – with both Peter Dutton, who initially challenged Malcolm Turnbull’s prime ministership, and Scott Morrison, who ultimately won, making the top three.

The names of Australia’s female sports stars are significantly less well known than our male ones, so it’s no surprise they weren’t typed into Google as frequently.

But in high profile media stories – such as the allegations against Craig McLachlan – it can be slightly disheartening to see that it’s the name of the alleged perpetrator, and not the names of any of the alleged victims (Christie Whelan Browne, Erika Heynatz, Angela Scundi) that generate our interest.

This year’s Google data shows that we tend to be more interested in stories about men, whether it’s Nick Cummins as The Bachelor, the timing of State of Origin, or why Tim Cahill wasn’t on the field when the Socceroos played Denmark.

Even two very recent news stories – that of Chris Dawson’s arrest, and Olga Edwards’ tragic death six months after her estranged husband killed her teenage children – show the same trend.

Image via Google trends.
Image via Google trends.
Image via Google trends.

We Google the men. We don't Google the women.


It seems the things we ask Google can tells us more than the answers it gives us.

00:00 / ???