What did the world search for in 2015? Google's annual "A Year in Search" retrospective is a chance to look back on the trends that defined the year. And it's a reminder that in moments of need, no matter how big or small, people turn to Google and YouTube. See what this means for marketers.

Published
December 2015
Topics

People turn to Google and YouTube in all kinds of moments. In 2015 those moments spanned from the global refugee crisis to marriage equality to world cups in soccer and cricket to finding water on Mars. What we searched for and consumed on the web in 2015 defined the topics and tone of our time.

Google's annual "Year in Search" video and website remind us that people turn to Google in the moments that matter to them—from the profound to the mundane. More than 100 billion searches are conducted on Google each month.1 And every day people watch hundreds of millions of hours on YouTube, generating billions of views.2 That adds up to a whole lot of collective curiosities. The data that Search and YouTube capture offers a real-time pulse on the shared experiences of our culture.

And it also offers a lens into the everyday moments when we need information, inspiration, or even entertainment. People turn to Google and YouTube in their I-want-to-know, I-want-to-go, I-want-to-buy, I-want-to-do, and I-want-to-watch-what-I'm-into moments.

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These micro-moments when people act on a need with intent, immediacy, and within a particular context are rich opportunities for brands to engage. And they're increasingly happening on the small screen: mobile. In 2015 mobile searches surpassed desktop searches.3

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For marketers, it's these multiplying micro-moments of intent that represent the search story of the year. And these moments are the new battleground for brands. Here are three ways you can act on micro-moments to ensure your brand is ready to meet consumers in their moments of intent:

Be there: Anticipate the micro-moments for consumers in your category, and ensure your brand is ready to help when those moments occur.

Be useful: Make sure your brand is relevant to consumers' needs in the moment, and connect people to the content they're looking for.

Be quick: They're called micro-moments for a reason. Mobile users want to know, go, do, watch, and buy swiftly. Ensure your brand's mobile experience is fast and frictionless.

To take a look back at the trends that defined 2015, check out "A Year in Search 2015" and YouTube Rewind. And for a more marketer-focused review as you gear up for 2016, check out our Marketer's Almanac, full of seasonal trends and search insights for the upcoming year.

Sources:
1 Google internal data, July 2015
2 YouTube internal data
3 Google internal data, for 10 countries including the U.S. and Japan, April 2015