Google, the most popular online search engine everywhere in the world (except for China) has revealed its highly anticipated search lists for the year 2014. With the year’s data collection close to an end, “What is Bitcoin?” is officially the 4th most searched for “What is…?” term of 2014. Google’s other lists for 2014 can be found here. In 2013, “What is Bitcoin?” was the 10th most searched “What is…?” term.
The number one searched for “What is…?” term for 2014 was none other than Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), likely due to the #IceBucketChallenge social media campaign. The Bitcoin community has lost one of its pioneering members, Hal Finney, to ALS, and has also raised bitcoins to donate to the fight against ALS.
Number two on the list was Ebola, this year’s medical scare. Number three on the list was Islamic State in Iran and Syria (ISIS), in reflection of the ongoing and incredibly viral turmoil currently plaguing the Middle East. Number five on the list, Asphyxia, likely owes its place to the #ICantBreathe movement and subsequent social awareness campaign caused by the killing of New York resident Eric Garner.
Also read: Google Finally Lists Bitcoin Exchange Rate
What is Google Search’s Significance?
This past year’s events, social trends, and public musings can be stripped of individual identifying information and presented to the world as aggregated search data thanks to Google’s unrivaled position in the search engine space. Despite the presence of Internet bots and other search engines, nobody can deny the statistical significance of Google search data. As online information platform Wikipedia’s co-founder Jimmy Wales has said:
If it isn’t on Google, it doesn’t exist.
Unless of course, you’re talking about Silk Road 1.0, 2.0, or 3.0 or any of the other stuff that Google ignores from the Deep Web.
Images from Google and Shutterstock.