Going viral: What Ireland googled in 2021

20 Dec 2021

Image: © Confidence/Stock.adobe.com

We are a nation of curious clickers and it’s no surprise Covid-19 trended throughout 2021. However, the virus was joined by more fun viral topics in the areas of sport, TV and food.

When Irish people have a question these days, they turn to Google – or so it seems. Many of the entries on this year’s Google Year in Search report are ‘how to’ queries.

Unsurprisingly, many of the most searched ‘how to’ questions this year related to registering for Covid-19 vaccines as well as doing antigen tests and applying for a Covid certificate. This time last year, things were fairly similar, with people searching for ‘how to make hand sanitiser’ and ‘how to wear a face mask’.

The virus was not the only topic that saw us turn to Google for instructions, however. We were also googling ‘how to make an iced coffee’ and ‘how to get rid of fruit flies’.

‘How to buy bitcoin’ came in at number 10 on the ‘how to’ list, behind queries such as as ‘how to solve a Rubik’s Cube’ at number seven or ‘how to do the Jerusalema dance’ in sixth place.

The overall most searched topic this year in Ireland was the European Football Championship, according to Google, with the Premier League coming in just behind. Our love of sport was also evident in the list of top 10 most-searched people. Danish footballer Christian Eriksen took the top spot following his mid-match cardiac arrest during the Euros. Olympic gold medallist Kellie Harrington was in fifth, while other sports figures who made the list included Gordon Elliott, Tiger Woods and Emma Raducanu.

In a year when Brexit and the US presidential inauguration dominated the world’s political agenda, Matt Hancock and Joe Biden also made the most-googled people list, while the deaths of Prince Philip and Sarah Everard prompted searches. Lots of Irish people wanted to know about COP26 and the basics on Brexit. Others were googling ‘what is the Taliban?’ and ‘what is happening in Afghanistan?’

Food and entertainment were never too far from our minds in 2021. Comfort food like pancakes, waffles, shepherd’s pie and carbonara dominated the list of most-googled recipes. As for entertainment, the presence of Korean drama Squid Game in second place proved we were willing to leave our comfort zones slightly. Similarly, lots of us were googling Irish crime show Kin, as well as UK crime drama Line of Duty.

While some were escaping with grit and gore, others were searching for regency romp Bridgerton, as well as Eurovision and Love Island. It was not all play and no work in 2021, however. Zoom was the seventh most-searched topic in Ireland this year.

Top Google search terms in Ireland 2021

  1. European Championship
  2. Premier League
  3. Coronavirus
  4. Seesaw
  5. Christian Eriksen
  6. Champions League
  7. Zoom
  8. Prince Philip
  9. Virgin Media Player
  10. Sarah Everard

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Blathnaid O’Dea was a Careers reporter at Silicon Republic until 2024.