An insight into the nation’s mind: Google Switzerland has released its “hit-list” of the most-searched terms in 2017, with the results suggesting that technology and tennis are the top priorities.
Perhaps people were blinded by the very machine they were using to make the search in the first place, but the top three most queried terms in Switzerland this year were themselves tech-focused: “iPhone 8” came first and “iPhone X” third.
The Apple devices, both released in 2017, sandwiched a more traditional concern: “Wimbledon” was the second-most searched term, reflecting an evergreen interest in the exploits of Roger Federer, who won the grand slam tennis tournament this year for a record eighth time.
Unsurprisingly, Federer also tops the list of most-searched personalities in the country, where he is joined by his colleague Stan Wawrinka (third) and his wife Mirka (fourth).
Breaking into this otherwise sporting podium in second place is Geneva-born Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan, who was embroiled in a sexual-harassment scandal in November, which he continues to deny.
‘How do you write love?’
Internationally, the personalities most alluring for Swiss users were US President Donald Trump, who had a divisive first year in the Oval Office, and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, who moved into the Elysée palace in May.
There was also interest in the annual Eurovision song contest, which topped the Festivals and Events category. Switzerland did not progress beyond the semi-final stage in this year’s contest in Kiev.
Questions, rather than simple terms, also feature increasingly often: the enigmatic “how are you?” topped this category, followed by “What is a hurricane?” which reflected widespread concern about Irma’s destructive path through the Caribbean this year.
Google, which aggregated the billions of queries entered each year across Switzerland and the world, nevertheless clarified that the list reflects not the overall most-searched terms (these would be ‘weather’, ‘YouTube’, ‘Google’, etc.) but rather the terms that have made the most gain and impact in the calendar year.
Similarly, if amorous aspirations are also naturally high – the third-most popular question in Switzerland was “how do you write love?” – the more physical side of love, notably sex, does not appear: Google removes from the rankings terms it judges to be unsuitable.
swissinfo.ch and agencies/dos