Top Google Search Trends In Sports For 2016 – Forbes

Google released its annual lists of search trends for 2016 today and the results are fascinating in the world of sports. The end of a historic World Series drought made the Chicago Cubs the top U.S. pro sports team, while Americans gobbled up everything about Michael Phelps’ Rio performance. The greatest Olympian of all-time headed the top athletes in 2016.

Michael Phelps holds the US flag after the podium ceremony of the Men’s swimming 4 x 100m Medley Relay Final at the Rio Olympics. (Photo: MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images)

The lists are intended to capture the people and topics that captured Americans attention this year. In past years, Google released both trending and most-searched lists. This year is focused on trending only, meaning search queries “that had the highest spike in traffic over a sustained period in 2016 as compared to 2015.”

Google did release one top ten most-searched list that covers all categories as searched by Americans. Powerball was No. 1, followed by Prince, Hurricane Matthew, Pokémon Go and “Trump” ranked No. 8, two spots ahead of Hillary Clinton with election sandwiched in between. Others in the top 10 were the Olympics and David Bowie.

Here is what Americans searched for on Google in the world of sports.

U.S. Pro Sports Teams

Teams that reach the end of the postseason are bound to see spikes in traffic. Six of the top seven teams made it to the final two in their respective sports in 2016. The exception: the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Cubs’ first World Series title since 1908 pushed them to the head of the class.

  1. Chicago Cubs
  2. Cleveland Indians
  3. Pittsburgh Penguins
  4. Oklahoma City Thunder
  5. Carolina Panthers
  6. Denver Broncos
  7. San Jose Sharks
  8. St. Louis Blues
  9. Dallas Stars
  10. Los Angeles Rams


Olympians dominated the action among athletes on Google in 2016 with six in the top 10, plus Kevin Durant who played for Team USA the last two Olympics. This group has won 63 Olympic medals, including 50 golds (65 and 52 with Durant’s pair of golds).

  1. Michael Phelps
  2. Ryan Lochte
  3. Simone Biles
  4. Cam Newton
  5. Usain Bolt
  6. Kevin Durant
  7. Colin Kaepernick
  8. Gabby Douglas
  9. Conor McGregor
  10. Katie Ledecky

MLB Players


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