Hurricane Ophelia and covfefe: Ireland’s most popular Google searches

Google has released this year’s most searched terms, featuring Conor McGregor and tracker mortgages

The highest ranked ‘how to’ search was how to make slime, a gooey substance popular with children.  Photograph: Eric Luke

The highest ranked ‘how to’ search was how to make slime, a gooey substance popular with children. Photograph: Eric Luke


Hurricane Ophelia, the strongest storm to hit Ireland in fifty years, was the most Googled topic in Ireland this year. United States President Donald J Trump was the second highest trending search, according to a Google list of most searched terms.

Popular internet searches relating to President Trump included “what is covfefe?”, which was an unknown word President Trump tweeted in May, much to the world’s confusion.

Ireland’s Fifa World Cup qualifier against Denmark, which the soccer team lost 5-1, was the third most searched term and the most searched for sporting event.

The Conor McGregor boxing match against Floyd Mayweather, and “how to watch McGregor vs Mayweather” was the second most Google sports event in Ireland.

The Netflix series ‘13 Reasons Why’, which is set in an American high school following the suicide of a student, was the fourth highest trending topic on Google this year. Fidget Spinner, the popular spinning children’s toy was the fifth most popular search trend.

Hurricane Irma, the powerful Atlantic storm that decimated a string of small Caribbean islands and hit parts of Florida in the US was the sixth most searched term, followed by the Bus Eireann strike which lasted three weeks and took place in March.

The Eurovision song contest was ranked ninth in the top ten trending Google search topics. And ranked tenth was famous US film producer Harvey Weinstein, who was fired from his company after a string of sexual assault and harassment accusations were reported.

The fallout from the Weinstein scandal started the social media #MeToo campaign, which has lead to numerous women in the United States, and in Ireland, coming forward to speak about sexual harassment and misconduct.

The most searched ‘what is …’ question Irish people asked Google was ‘what is the antikythera mechanism?’. The antikythera mechanism is an ancient Greek analogue computer used to predict astronomical positions.

Google featured the device and method as one of it’s ‘Google Doodles’ this year, which is the themed customised image sometimes above the search bar usually featuring famous anniversaries.

Other popular ‘what is’ searches included ‘what is a hurricane’, ’what is bitcoin’ (a digital based currency), and ‘what is a tracker mortgage.’

The highest ranked ‘how to’ search was how to make slime, a gooey substance popular with children. Other popular ‘how to’ searches included how to lose weight, how to download Netflix, how to solve the Rubik’s cube, and how to bleed radiators.

Google searches on how to register to vote were the tenth most popular ‘how to’ search, following a large social media campaign this autumn aimed at young people ahead of the upcoming vote on Ireland’s abortion laws and the Eighth Amendment next year.

English horse racing festival Cheltenham was the third most popular sporting search trend, after Ireland versus Denmark, and McGregor versus Mayweather.

The most searched for movie was Christopher Nolan’s film ‘Dunkirk’ which followed the dramatic World War Two sea rescue of British troops stranded on beaches in France, followed by ‘It’, ‘Beauty and the Beast’, and ‘La La Land.’

Top Trending Searches:

1 Hurricane Ophelia

2 Donald Trump

3 Ireland v Denmark

4 13 Reasons Why

5 Fidget Spinner

6 Hurricane Irma

7 Bus Eireann Strike

8 McGregor vs Mayweather

9 Eurovision

10 Harvey Weinstein

Top What is…? Searches:

1 What is the antikythera mechanism?

2 What is a hurricane

3 What is bitcoin

4 What is a pangolin

5 What is a tracker mortgage

6 What is the confederation cup

7 What is covfefe

8 What is daca

9 What is a teleporter

10 What is a fidget spinner

Top Sporting Events:

1 Ireland v Denmark

2 McGregor vs Mayweather

3 Cheltenham

4 Confederations cup

5 Ireland v Wales

6 RBS 6 Nations

7 Ireland v South Africa

8 Tour de France

9 All-Ireland Hurling

10 Galway Races

Top How to... Searches

1 How to make slime

2 How to watch McGregor vs Mayweather

3 How to lose weight

4 How to check credit on 3

5 How to make pancake mix

6 How to solve the Rubik’s cube

7 How to open a coconut

8 How to download on Netflix

9 How to bleed radiators

10 How to register to vote