How to Find the Most Popular Searches Online

What are the top searches on the internet?

google search bar reflecting off of phone screen sitting on a laptop keyboard

Artur Debat / Contributor / Getty Images

What are the most popular searches on any given search engine? Many search engines and sites keep track of the top searches on the web, either in real time or in archived lists that you can use to track trends. 

Researching what people are searching for on the web is a great way to keep up with popular buzz, figure out what people are looking for and give it to them on your blog or website, and understand what trends might be coming up.

Below are some of the best methods for tracking what people are searching for.

Google Trends

Google is the most visited website in the world, so finding the most searched items on Google is the single best way to know what people are searching for. The best way to find the top Google searches is with Google Trends, which provides several ways to monitor the most searched words and to see how a particular search has performed over time.

Visit the Google Trends Explore page to see the current top searches and most popular search topics. You can change the tool to show rising search queries to find which search terms are performing better than they were the last time they were checked.

Google Trends top search queries

If you adjust the time range, you can see the most popular searches over the last month, five years, or longer. Another filter lets you see trending and top searches from Google Images, YouTube, Google News.

The Daily Search Trends section in particular is where you'll find today's trending web searches. You can adjust the location to tailor the results to a different location.

Trending Searches on Google

The Realtime Search Trends page reveals trending stories over the last 24 hours. You can change the category to filter the results by stories about business, sports, entertainment, and other categories.

Google Trends realtime search trends

Another useful feature of Google Trends is exploring the most searched words related to any topic. For example, you could type iPhone to see related queries ordered by popularity.

Google Trends results for iPhone

Another Google service you might be interested in that lets you follow web content is Google Alerts. You can use it to track searches around a particular topic, or even to see if people are searching for you or your business.

Twitter

Twitter United States trends

Want to get up-to-the-second updates on what people are interested in all over the world? Twitter is the place to be.

Log in to your Twitter account and then open the Trends section to see the top 20 trending hashtags and tweets. You can also see what's trending on Twitter from the right side of the Home section.

By default, you might be seeing trends that are tailored to you and your interests. You can select the settings button to turn off Trends for you, which will show worldwide trends. For trends specific to your area, change the location to your country.

Trending tweets are available from the mobile app, too, via the search tab.

Bing or Yahoo

Most popular searches on Bing right now

These search engines have identical features when it comes to finding popular searches. All you have to do to see what's popular on Bing or Yahoo is select the text box and read through the trending search items.

YouTube

YouTube trending page

This wildly popular video streaming site is also a good way to see what people are searching for. Visit the Trending page on YouTube's website, or the Trending tab in the app, to see what's popular right now.

You can filter the results by music, gaming, news, and movies, and you don't need to be logged in to YouTube to see the results.

To see trending YouTube searches from other countries, use the menu button at the top of the page to change the location. If you're logged in, select your image at the top right, and then Location.

Use the Trending Section of Popular Websites

Another way to see what people are searching for on the internet is to browse the trending areas of popular websites. We already saw how to do this with some search engines and social media sites, but most other popular websites include a similar feature.

Reddit, for example, has a way to view what's hot right now and which articles are rising in popularity. It's a good place to see what the internet is talking about because users post content regularly. You can also see what's trending on Reddit in specific categories, such as in the news section.

Reddit's most popular posts

Some other examples include Pinterest, BuzzFeed, The New York Times, Google News, and Medium.

Analytics Services

You can also find the most searched terms that people are entering into search engines to reach a specific website or web page. Alexa and SEMrush are great ways to do this.

Enter any URL to see the top keywords by traffic, keywords that indicate the intent to purchase something, and other search statistics. You can pay for deeper insights.

Alexa.com site stats for Lifewire

End-of-the-Year Search Summaries

Many search engines and websites put out a yearly list of their top searches throughout the year; it's a nice way to capture lots of data and see what was trending in a variety of different topics all over the world.

This happens every year for all of the major search engines around the November/December time frame. In addition to the top searches, most search engines give you the option to drill down into the data and get a chronological snapshot of why that particular search was getting so much traction at that time. This can give insights that can help with research, especially.

We keep a list of Bing's top searches, for example, as well as the top web searches from the early 2000s.