What is New Zealand looking up in 2019? Shocking news.

What New Zealand’s most searched Google terms say about us in 2019

How to watch the Rugby World Cup? How to make spaghetti bolognese? Who is James Charles? Google just released what New Zealanders looked for the most in 2019, and it says a lot about us.

Another year on the internet, another year of Google searches you hope nobody excavates. Until now!

Our Google overlords have, as they do every year, released the people we’ve been asking questions about, the recipes we want to master and the questions that we want answers to, but not enough to embarrass us in front of our friends.

This says a lot about us, and not all of it is flattering, y’all. We’ve all got some reflecting to do, and I need to know which one of you retroactives doesn’t know the answer to a great guacamole recipe in 2019 is just… more avocado. Come on. Google can see you, bro.

Anyway, onto the statistics, shameful and not!

We still love our sport, and want to find out about it

News to nobody: Kiwis love sports, and they want to read about it. Or watch pivoted-to-video content about it.

Six of the most searched terms overall are:

  • Rugby World Cup
  • New Zealand vs England
  • Cricket World Cup
  • Spark Sports
  • Australia vs Pakistan
  • Australia Open 2019

… but we don’t know where to watch it

New Zealanders really, really need to know how to watch the Rugby World Cup, and don’t already know it. Our most asked “how to” is, maybe unsurprisingly, how to watch the Rugby World Cup.

Seriously though, hooooow

We also want to know how to do some real weird stuff

Rounding the top 10 “how tos” are some quite strange, not so topical questions. Such as:

  • How to watch Game of Thrones (fair enough)
  • How to solve a rubix cube (situational, weird, also spelt wrong)
  • How to write a cover letter (you get that job!)
  • How to get rid of fleas (bless)
  • How to make cheese sauce (obviously you just melt cheese)

… but at least New Zealand finally learned how to take a screenshot

We’ve finally become a nation of receipt keepers. While “how to take a screenshot” took out two of the spots last year, this year it falls all the way down to 9. I’m so very glad that we as a nation have learned how to weaponise that feeling you have when someone says something dumb in the group chat and you have to send it to everyone else being like, “omg classic Sharon!!!!”.

We have some trouble cooking the basics

The most searched recipe of 2019 was for the easily made, not-so-easily mastered “spaghetti bolognese”. Bless our souls. Just put lots of garlic in it! You’ll be fine, New Zealand.

Our others included guacamole (my tip: one more avocado than you think you’ll need), pikelets (the underachieving pancake), hot cross buns (draw the cross with a marker), apple crumble (yum!) and playdough, which makes me wonder what enterprising toddlers are using Google for their lunch recipe needs.

New Zealanders want to know what these new diets are

Specifically, “keto diet” took out two spots on the top 10 with “keto diet’ and “What is a keto diet”. Did you know you can eat crackling on the keto diet? You know, that gross, store-bought stuff that is probably closer to sandpaper than it is to actual food? Fun.

Other entries include: “Plant based diet” at number one, “fodmap diet” (which I truly have never heard of, and choose to believe is a typo of foodmap diet), and bless its outdated, problematic soul, the “Atkins diet” at number 10.

People also really want to find a “diet doctor”, which is a silly thing to search. We all know they’re called “nutritionalists”.

New Zealanders want to know about their favourite celebrities

Some of the most searched celebrities include Lorde, Sonny Bill Williams, Billie Eilish, Greta Thunberg and Marie Kondo. Yes, the woman who wants you to get rid of your yearbook is a celebrity, and she deserves it!

… but we also want to know who people are

I can imagine this scene happening at many a New Zealand table this year:

Picture a group of three to four people. They talk about [James Charles/Marie Kondo/Pewdiepie/Greta Thunberg], but one person stays quiet. Their eyes glaze over. They nod and nervously smile, until they excuse themselves to get a round for the table or use the bathroom. When they’re immediately out of people’s eyelines, they get out their phone and frantically Google [James Charles/Marie Kondo/Pewdiepie/Greta Thunberg].

When they’re back at the table, with their bladder depleted or the round bought, they’re suddenly all caught up and able to contribute.

Multiply that by a few hundred times, and you end up with our most searched people of the year. Other international honourees include Jordyn Woods (a Jenner-Kardashian adjacent), Israel Folau (bigot), Nipsey Hussle (deceased rapper), Prince Andrew (disgraced royal), Billie Eilish (famous mumbler).

On the other hand, our local honourees include Israel Adesanya (UFC champion), Kane Williamson (cricketballer), Ryan Fox (golfballer), Scott McLaughlin (vroomer), Robert Whittaker (mixed media artist), William Waiirua and Anna Wilcox (dancers with the stars).

New Zealanders might be… kind of dumb

A few of our what is questions:

  • What is area 51?
  • What is black Friday all about?
  • What is lupus? (Someone’s been watching House, or paying attention to Selena Gomez’s medical history.)
  • What is a boomer?

If you need to ask, you’re the boomer.

… but also quite functional!

It’s good to know that some of the questions we’re asking are genuinely quite functional!

For example:

  • What is minimum wage in NZ?
  • What is the time in India?
  • What is momo?

But seriously. What is momo?


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