Here’s what the French googled in 2016

Here's what the French googled in 2016
Forget the Loucre, let's play some Pokémon Go! Photo: AFP
It's that time when we look back at where our fingers took us on the internet this year through the medium of Google's Year in Search.

And what a year it has been: The French right-wing primaries, Pokémon go, Donald Trump and Euro 2016 kept us glued to our screens. And all of this is reflected in French search habits, but some of the questions people typed into their devices were more idiosyncratic, with Scrabble cheats for example making a surprise appearance. 

So, onto the list: Here’s how French keyboard bashers spent their time in 2016. 


Donald Trump dominated international news cycles with his flaming cocktail of opinions and character assassinations that made liberals the world over chortle with glee because they were going to lose him the US election. He was always likely to top this search list. 

But with France’s upcoming presidential election predicted to be a run-off between Francois Fillon and Marine Le Pen, it’s perhaps surprising that he didn't make the top five and she’s not even in the top ten. Expect to see a lot more of them in 2017. 

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In the news 

The Euro 2016 football tournament was held in France and the nation got behind a team that came so close to winning a first major competition since the World Cup-winning side in 1998. Losing the final to Portugal was a massive disappointment but at least Pokemon Go helped people take their minds off things. Oh, and then there was at the small matter of the US election in fifth place, but the result was a foregone conclusion… 

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The how questions

These questions perhaps give a little glimpse into the national psyche, so how do we interpret this apparent willingness to cheat in the noblest game: Scrabble? 

  1. How to download Pokémon Go 
  2. How to vote in the right-wing primary 
  3. How to signal dissatisfaction with his leadership
  4. How to know if I please him 
  5. How to cheat at Scrabble 

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This gives us another little peek inside people’s brains. So should we be concerned that French internet users are trying to work out what empathy and bipolar mean? 


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The songs 

French Googlers could’t get enough of this charity hit by Kids United. The child singers scored a huge hit with their reworking of a song once recorded by Greek singer Demis Roussous, and the proceeds went to Unicef. At the time of writing this video had racked up more than 134 million views on YouTube. 


Antoine Griezmann emerged as the star of Euro 2016 from a French standpoint, with his six goals earning him the Golden Boot. Relive some wonderful memories here, including his double strike against Germany that propelled France into the final. 


Deadpool was one of the biggest grossing movies of 2016 and Marvel fans basically live on the internet, which might explain the film’s search-engine success. 

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That's it for this year's list. And remember: you don't have to cheat at French Scrabble, you just have to memorize the entire French dictionary, like this New Zealander who won the French championship despite not speaking any French. 

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