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Every year, we reflect on the moments that made us laugh, smile from ear to ear, or kept us gripped to our screens in our annual Year in Search. It was a year in which we were struck by the death of a beloved comedian, and watched news unfold about a horrific plane crash and a terrifying disease. We were captivated by the beautiful game, and had fun with birds, a bucket of ice, and a frozen princess. 

Watch our video to rediscover the events, people and topics that defined 2014:
           
Wishing the genie goodbye
“You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it.” The passing of beloved comedian and actor Robin Williams shook the world, bringing many people online to search for more information and to remember—and putting Williams in the #1 spot on our global trends charts. There was even an uptick in searches related to depression tests and mental health in the days following his death. We revisited his iconic roles in movies like Aladdin and Dead Poets Society and found solace in gifs and memes that captured Williams’ spirit.

All the world’s a stage
Nothing brings people together like sports, and 2014 had one of the biggest athletic events in recent memory. The World Cup in Brazil had its fair share of unforgettable moments and had everyone glued to their TVs and mobile devices all summer. From Luis Suarez’s bite heard around the world, to Tim Howard's superman performance vs. Belgium, to Germany’s incredible run to their fourth title, the competition certainly lived up to its reputation and topped the charts.

While sports brought people together, so did a good cause. This year, awareness for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, better known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, reached an all-time high around the world due to the viral ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. As celebrities and everyday people alike braved a bucket of ice cold water for a cause, donations to help find a cure for the illness hit almost $100 million.

Into the unknown How could a plane just vanish into thin air? In the wake of the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, that question propelled the mystery to the global trends charts. As the investigation continued on the ground and online, people stayed hopeful for a happy ending despite the dim odds: searches for “mh370 found” outnumbered searches for “mh370 lost.”

Here’s the full list of our top 10 global trending searches:
You can find more on these top searches and more at google.com/2014
Explore the stories from the year, one chapter at a time
On our Year in Search site, you can take an in-depth look at the stories that made 2014 unforgettable. From the rise of the selfie, to understanding if we search for “how” more than “why,” each chapter shares a glimpse into the people and events that drove this year forward.



We've also made it easier to find the trending topics of the year directly from Google Search. For the first time, a simple search for [google 2014] will give you a peek at what made the top trending lists from around the world. And you can follow more insights from the year with #YearInSearch. So take a moment to appreciate what this year had to offer. It’ll be 2015 before you know it.

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Today we released our annual wrap up of top trending searches around the world. Once you've had your fill, you may be interested to check out some updates in Google Trends and in your search results.

2014 Trending Topics in Search

Sometimes you just want to know what's been trending -- and today we're rolling out a simple way to explore 2014 trending topics in Search. Search for [2014 trending topics], [2014 trends] or similar queries in 45+ languages and you'll discover a new feature listing the top trends of the year based on Google Trends data.


Click on any of the topics listed to quickly perform a search and learn more, or click the menu to explore trends in 61 countries around the world.

Trending on YouTube in 27 countries 

The web is about much more than searching—it's about reading, sharing, listening, watching, creating... What if you want to explore the pulse of everything happening online?

Last month we took a small step in that direction, introducing a new feature to explore videos Trending on YouTube in the United States. Now you can explore videos trending on YouTube in 27 countries. Visit google.com/trends and click on “Trending on YouTube” and you'll discover a list of videos spiking in popularity.



The new YouTube lists in Google Trends are our most comprehensive and dynamic yet, taking Google Trends technology and building on earlier efforts that started with YouTube Trends and the YouTube Popular Now Channel. Depending on the day, you'll find up to 200 newly trending videos, so you can keep a pulse on the latest trending game highlights, late night satires, and Minecraft voiceovers.

Fresh design for a fresh new year Today we've also rolled out a number of design updates to the Google Trends website designed to make it simpler, cleaner, and more colorful. Among other tweaks, you'll notice an updated navigation menu, updated typography, spacing, and a refreshed design for Top Charts (home of our annual trending topics). Check it out and be sure to tell us what you think by clicking "Send Feedback" at the bottom of Google Trends pages.

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Cross-posted from the Google Translate Blog

Whether you're teaching yourself a new language or trying to make a new friend, Google Translate can be a powerful tool for crossing language barriers. Today, we're adding 10 languages to Translate, bringing our total number of supported languages to 90. These 10 new languages will allow more than 200 million additional people to translate text to and from their native languages. These languages are available now on translate.google.com and will roll out soon to our mobile apps and to the built-in translation functionality in Chrome.  

If it weren't for the active Translate Community participation, we wouldn't be able to launch some of these languages today. While our translation system learns from translated data found on the web, sometimes we need support from humans to improve our algorithms. We're very grateful for all the support we're getting today and we hope that together with our community, we can continue improving translation quality for the languages we support today and add even more languages in the future.

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Spotlight on our new languages

Africa gets more language coverage with Chichewa, Malagasy, and Sesotho:

  • Chichewa (Chinyanja) is spoken by 12 million people in Malawi and surrounding countries. It is one of 55 languages used in the greetings that now travel the galaxy on the Voyager interstellar probes.
  • Malagasy is spoken by 18 million people in Madagascar, where it is the national language. It is one of only a few languages which puts the verb first in sentences, followed by the object and then the subject.
  • Sesotho has 6 million native speakers. It is the national language of Lesotho and one of 11 official languages in South Africa.

In India and Southeast Asia, we are adding Malayalam, Myanmar, Sinhala, and Sundanese:

  • Malayalam (മലയാളം), with 38 million native speakers, is a major language in India and one of that country’s 6 classical languages. It’s been one of the most-requested languages, so we are especially excited to add Malayalam support!
  • Myanmar (Burmese, မြန်မာစာ) is the official language of Myanmar with 33 million native speakers. Myanmar language has been in the works for a long time as it's a challenging language for automatic translation, both from language structure and font encoding perspectives. While our system understands different Myanmar inputs, we encourage the use of open standards and therefore only output Myanmar translations in Unicode.
  • Sinhala (සිංහල) is one of the official languages of Sri Lanka and natively spoken by 16 million people. In September the local community in Sri Lanka organized Sinhala Translate Week, and since then, participants have contributed tens of thousands of translations to our system. We're happy to be able to release Sinhala as one of the new languages today!
  • Sundanese (Basa Sunda) is spoken on the island of Java in Indonesia by 39 million people. While Sundanese does have its own script, it is today commonly written using the Latin alphabet, which is what our system uses.

In Central Asia, we are adding Kazakh, Tajik, and Uzbek:

  • Kazakh (Қазақ тілі) with 11 million native speakers in Kazakhstan. We've received strong support from Kazakh language enthusiasts, and we hope to continue collaborating with the local communities in the region to add even more languages in the future, including Kyrgyz.
  • Tajik (Тоҷикӣ), a close relative to modern Persian, is spoken by more than 4 million people in Tajikistan and beyond.
  • Uzbek (Oʻzbek tili) is spoken by 25 million people in Uzbekistan. In addition to receiving Uzbek community support, we've incorporated the Uzbek dictionary by Shavkat Butaev into our system.

We’re just getting started with these new languages and have a long way to go. You can help us by suggesting your corrections using "Improve this translation" functionality on Translate and contributing to Translate Community.

Posted by the Google Translate engineering team

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Think of it as our early holiday gift to you — today we’re releasing the rebuilt Google app for iOS. It’s ready for download in the App Store and will help you multitask more merrily this season. You can now see and return to your recently visited pages or start a new search with a single tap, as well as find nearby places and explore interactive maps right inside the Google app. All of this is wrapped up in the sleek packaging of Material Design.

When you’re busy searching for everything from your favorite online stores to the hours of the local ice skating rink to recipes for gingerbread cookies—likely all at the same time—the new “recents” button helps keep you organized. Tap it and you’ll find recently viewed pages open and waiting for you. Flip through them with a flick of your finger to juggle all your tasks.
You also no longer have to worry about how to get back to the mic (or search box if you’re more of a typing, um, type) to ask your next question. The new Google button at the bottom of the app will take you right back there with one tap.
Last but not least: you can now search Google Maps within the Google app! Now, whenever you search for a place—whether it’s a tree farm or a restaurant after a long day of shopping—you’ll see a map right there with the results. You can get a quick sense of where you’re headed, or even explore Street View if you want to take a closer look. When you’re ready to get going, your trusted Google Maps app will be waiting a tap away with directions.
Once your plans are made, Now cards in the Google app will help you keep track of it all: you can count on a notification letting you know when the perfect gift you ordered will ship, and the flight you booked or table you reserved for your office party will pop up in helpful cards as well.

With the Google app by your side, we hope your holiday season is a little less hectic, and a little more happy!

Posted by Nick Hobbs, Product Manager, Search

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Have you ever visited a website using Google Search on your mobile phone, only to find that the text was too small, the links were tiny, and the content could not be viewed without scrolling sideways? This usually happens when the website has not been optimized to be viewed on a mobile phone and can be a frustrating experience.
Surfing the web on your mobile phone should be enjoyable and effortless, which is why we’re now helping you find out in advance which websites offer a good experience on mobile devices. Look for the mobile-friendly label in our mobile search results like this:
We hope this helps everyone to have a better mobile web experience. You can hop on for the ride too! If you notice that your favorite websites don’t have the mobile-friendly label, reach out to the site owners or webmasters and let them know about your mobile experience on their sites. And if you want to make mobile-friendly websites, visit our Guide for mobile websites.

Let’s ditch the pinching, scrolling and aimless tapping, and welcome the new wave of mobile-friendly sites.

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‘Tis (almost) the season—which means end-of-year work deadlines are competing with plans to connect with friends and family. With new updates to the Google app, it’s easier to stay sane as you juggle work and play.
An Android Lollipop treat: new design to make what matters most pop
Whether you’re searching for the best sushi in Chicago, or you’re researching Van Gogh’s Irises for a school paper, you might notice the results you see in the Google app look a bit spiffier. That’s because we’re beginning to roll out Material Design to search, with bold colors, fluid animations and simplified layouts. (You'll see this if you’ve got your hands on one of the newest devices running Android Lollipop.)

Plus, if you own a Nexus 6, Nexus 9 or Samsung Galaxy Note4, here’s a power tip: you can now set up your phone so you can say “Ok Google” to ask a question even if your screen is off and your phone is unplugged—say, when you’re cooking and need a quick unit conversion without getting dough all over your phone.
Reminders for your half-baked plans
You can also rely more and more on the Google app to help you organize your life: you may notice a new card asking if you want to be reminded of, say, “dinner with Chris” or “drinks with Susan.” For those times you’ve gotten an email about something but forgotten to follow up, Google can now catch potential plans buried in your Gmail: it’ll prompt you to add them to your calendar then serve up reminders, so you can stay on top of staying in touch. 

As you scramble to get through the end of the year, the app will also help you keep track of your trips (whether you’re seeing the family on Thanksgiving or jetting to Vegas for New Year’s eve), to-do lists (did you pay your utility bill? pick up the wine for your Christmas party?) and more (the Bulls score, where you parked your car) with Now cards.
Finding info in your favorite apps made easy
Google can now help you search for exactly what you need—even if it’s in another app. With a simple prompt like “Ok Google, search Tumblr for ‘Things Organized Neatly’” Google will take you right into the app. This now works with a number of apps, so you can also research the best Maui hotels on TripAdvisor, listen to your jam on TuneIn, find a dream home on Trulia, or get tips on how to carve a turkey on YouTube — right from the Google app. Try it out next time you need a shortcut.
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And, your Google app now doubles as a virtual coin
Korean BBQ or pizza? Interstellar or St. Vincent? So many questions in life can be decided with a quick coin flip. Save those quarters for laundry and parking meters—just say “Ok Google, flip a coin” and make those decisions in a snap.
So as you figure out the rhythm of work and play around the holidays, try out some of the new ways Google can help.

Posted by Anantica Singh, Product Manager, Search

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Cross-posted from the Google Shopping Blog.

Are you an Elsa, Olaf or Anna? Judging by the top trending searches for Halloween costumes on Google, you’re going to see a lot of each on the streets this October 31. The characters from Disney’s animated blockbuster make up three of the top five trending costumes this year.

While last year’s list featured popular choices from TV (Breaking Bad) and the viral video “What Does The Fox Say,” movie-themed costumes are dominating this year. Maleficent and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle costumes round out the top five. Costumes from Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain America and The Avengers take places 6 through 8, while video-game Assassin's Creed and pet costume were the only non-movie themed costumes trend to make the Top 10.


With more than half of their traffic coming from Google, online retailer BuyCostumes.com anticipated the surge in interest around these top costumes and tailored their Google Search advertising to ensure that they’re connecting with consumers as they’re looking for this season’s popular costumes.

“We watch the trends with a keen eye, especially around this time of year,” said Jennifer Dominiquini, chief marketing officer for BuySeasons, Inc., parent company to BuyCostumes.com. “It is important to us to leverage the trends and ensure those searching for them are finding our brand in their search.”

Trick or Doggy Treat? 
It’s no surprise that canine companions frequently join the family as they take to the streets, going door to door, but more and more people are looking to incorporate their dogs into the Halloween spirit. Searches for dog costumes are trending nearly 15% higher than last year, and one pet even costume managed to crack the Top Ten trending costumes. At number 9 on this is ‘spider dog’, no doubt inspired by the viral video sensation ‘Mutant Giant Spider Dog’, which has generated more than 99 million views on YouTube since the beginning of September. BuyCostumes.com has been seeing a surge in interest around pet costumes this season, with people also looking for ways to incorpoate their animal friends into themed costumes for the whole family.

Halloween, The DIY Way 
Halloween is one of those holidays filled with the do-it-yourself spirit, particularly if the DIY costume and general Halloween trends on Google Search are any indication:



But nowhere is the the DIY Halloween spirit more alive than on YouTube. Last year, nearly one out of three Halloween costume searches on YouTube were for DIY costumes. Searches for DIY costumes on YouTube grew more than 200% in 2013 compared to the previous year.

One DIY area on YouTube that sees a significant seasonal spike every year for Halloween is in makeup. Searches for makeup on YouTube hits a high each October as millions of people search for Halloween inspiration and tips.

Whether you’re looking to show off your inner Elsa, are searching for the best outfit for Fido, or are looking to wow your friends with your DIY prowess, there are tricks and treats available for everyone this Halloween.

Posted by Danielle Bowers, Data & Trends Manager