Here is an overview of the news stories, events, and items that Yandex users searched for most frequently this year. Search trends for 2018:
When we looked at what events were most popular this year, sports clearly reigned. The FIFA World Cup in Russia and the Winter Olympics in South Korea were the most-searched-for events of the year. You can chalk this up not only to the constant media coverage but also to the fact that episodic sporting events tend to draw more interest as the games unfold.
Other events that landed in the Top 10 list include the March 25th fire at a shopping center in Kemerovo (#3), the presidential election in Russia (#5), and the introduction of a law increasing the retirement age (#7).
Smartphones topped the ranking for technology-themed search trends this year. The only item other than smartphones to rank in the Top 10 was the new Lada Granta car manufactured by the Russian automaker AvtoVAZ. Other gadgets like fitness bracelets, laptop computers, etc. didn’t make the cut.
This was the year of the superheroes. Among the Top 10 films that Yandex users searched for, half were film adaptations of comic books and another two featured heroes with superhuman abilities. Monsters (both scary and silly) also made a prominent appearance in the list. From #1 through #10 were: Avengers: Infinity War, Deadpool 2, Dvizhenie vverkh (released as Three Seconds in the USA ), Venom, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, and Hotel Transylvania 3.
This year we didn’t create separate rankings of TV series for Russian and foreign productions. The results? Every TV series that made it into the Top 10 list is Russian. At the top of the list is Mazhor (which you can find on Netflix as Silver Spoon, its English title), followed by the comedy series Domashniy arrest, and the hockey-themed comedy Molodyezhka.
Whereas Russians clearly still prefer to watch shows produced in their own country, their video game preferences are much more international.
Please note: the games list doesn’t include browser-based or mini-games. We also didn’t factor in games that were announced but not yet released (even though releases of new parts of games like The Elder Scrolls and S.T.A.L.K.E.R. drew a lot of searches.
A Top 10 list is too small to represent the vast diversity of songs that Yandex users searched for this year, but even within the Top 10, artists from several different countries are represented. The song “Plakala” by Ukrainian group Kazka took first place, followed by “Panda E” by Belarusian rapper CYGO, and “Meduza” by the Russian hip-hop singer Matrang. All slots in the Top 10 were occupied by artists from the Slavic world.
Search trends provide an interesting look into cultural differences.