Search Trends by State: Top Trending Searches in All 50 States

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Don’t you just love those map graphics that show you what people call “soda” in every state? Or what the favorite local beer is? I do! That’s why I decided to create one for search. Behold: The top trending searches in every U.S. state from the past 12 months (click the image to expand):

search trends by state

Note: This data was pulled before llamas and #thedress broke the Internet.

Top Trending Searches: Methodology

To determine the top trending searches, I used Google Trends data from the last 12 months (February 2014 to February 2015). In Google Trends, you can drill down to the state level and see both overall trends as well as rising trends (indicating a recent spike in search volume). For this graphic, I used the rising trends data. I also threw out the most common rising search terms that were common across all 50 states in the past 12 months. These included:

  • ebola
  • robin williams
  • world cup
  • iphone 6
  • iggy azalea
  • fb
  • google drive
  • amazon prime
  • ariana grande

For each state, I looked for the first unique trending search (a trending query that wasn’t part of a nationwide trend). You’ll see that some of the states in the map above feature one of the nationwide search trends. That’s because some states (such as Colorado) had no unique search trends. (Though I find it really hard to believe Coloradans weren’t searching for marijuana more than other states…)

Want to explore further? Go to http://www.google.com/trends/explore

Trends in the Trends: What Did We Search for in the Last Year?

There are some interesting trends in these rising search queries:

Technology & Media

Many of the rising searches were brand searches related to new or growing technology and media platforms, such as Sanford (a medical platform), Amazon Prime, Soundcloud, Twitch (a gaming platform), and VK (a Russian social network). Mobile phones (surprise, surprise) were also big – the new iPhone 6 and Galaxy S5 models both made appearances.

Education

Related to the above, a lot of new rising search trends were related to educational platforms, such as Google Classroom, Student Portal, and Cool Math Games.

Politics

The 2014 events in Ferguson, Missouri were of huge national interest, but naturally had the largest effect on searches locally in the Midwest. Isis, an Islamist rebel group, was also in the news a lot in 2014.

Foreign Language Searches

“Tiempo,” meaning “weather” in Spanish, made a splash in Texas, likely due to a large and growing Spanish-speaking population. And VK, a rising search in Oregon, is a Russian network, suggesting a growing Russian population in the state (the largest Russian community in the U.S. is in Washington).

Sports

A few states boasted high search volume for local or near-local sports teams (The Royals, The Brewers, the Patriots). The World Cup also stole a lot of search volume last year across the country.

Transactional Searches

Interestingly, a few rising search terms were transactional, or commercial, in nature – take Cabela’s in Delaware. “Black Friday 2014” in Kentucky points to a spiking interest in the annual sales.

Credit Scores & Banking

Credit Karma was a rising search in several states, including Georgia and South Carolina, while Santander (trending in both Massachusetts and Rhode Island) is a Spanish banking group which recently underwent an expansion and rebranding.

Earthquakes in the West

Both California and Alaska experienced earthquakes that led to tremors (haha) in the search landscape (haha).

Classifieds, Housing & Real Estate

Platforms to help people find jobs (BisManOnline) and housing (Zillow, Craigslist) were also popular.

Celebrities

The celebrities that sucked up the most of our attention this year included musicians (Iggy Azalea, Kevin Gates, and Ariana Grande), athletes (Lebron James) and actors (Jennifer Lawrence and Robin Williams, who died in August of 2014).

What’s the Top Trending Search in Your State?

Here’s the alphabetical list of the top trending search in each state, with a brief explanation for search terms you might not be familiar with, as well as secondary and tertiary trending searches were applicable:

  1. Alabama – Isis; Credit Karma
  2. Alaska – Alaska earthquake; Cabela’s
  3. Arizona – Jennifer Lawrence
  4. Arkansas – Google Classroom; UArk Mail; Quizlet
  5. California – Earthquake; Giants
  6. Colorado – Amazon Prime
  7. Connecticut – Soundcloud; Powerschool
  8. Delaware – Cabela’s; UDSIS (University of Delaware student portal)
  9. Florida – Soundcloud; Cool Math Games
  10. Georgia – Credit Karma; Tiempo
  11. Hawaii – Disneyland; Southwest
  12. Idaho – Twitch (“the world's leading video platform and community for gamers”); Khan Academy (a nonprofit educational organization)
  13. Illinois – Student Portal; Xfinity
  14. Indiana – Zillow; Blackboard
  15. Iowa – Isis; Snapchat
  16. Kansas – Royals
  17. Kentucky – Black Friday 2014; Clash of Clans
  18. Louisiana – Credit Karma; Costco
  19. Maine – Zillow; Snapchat; Megashare
  20. Maryland – Cool Math Games; Reddit; Orioles
  21. Massachusetts – Santander; 2014 Calendar
  22. Michigan – Google Docs; Reddit; Kate Upton
  23. Minnesota – Craigslist MPLS (as in Minneapolis); Minnesota Wild
  24. Mississippi – Kevin Gates; Lil Boosie (both rappers)
  25. Missouri – Ferguson
  26. Montana – Charter (telecommunications); D2L (Desire 2 Learn, an e-learning company)
  27. Nebraska – Ferguson; Marcus Theaters
  28. Nevada – Galaxy S5
  29. New Hampshire – Calendar 2014; Market Basket
  30. New Jersey – Google Drive; Google Docs
  31. New Mexico – Calendar 2014; TMobile
  32. New York – Accuweather
  33. North Carolina – Powerschool
  34. North Dakota – BisManOnline; Twitch
  35. Ohio – Lebron James
  36. Oklahoma – Isis; Costco
  37. Oregon – VK (“the largest Russian social network in Europe with adult content”)
  38. Pennsylvania – Groupon
  39. Rhode Island – Santander; Aspen
  40. South Carolina – Credit Karma
  41. South Dakota – My Sanford Chart (University of South Dakota medical portal)
  42. Tennessee – Divergent (2014 film, based on a YA series)
  43. Texas – Tiempo; Spurs
  44. Utah – Zillow; Canvas (a learning management system)
  45. Vermont – Buzzfeed; Putlocker (free online movie platform)
  46. Virginia – Tubidy (mobile video search engine); Waptrick (free music downloads); WhatsApp (mobile messaging)
  47. Washington – Giants
  48. West Virginia – EngradeWV (another educational portal); Destiny (a video game released in 2014)
  49. Wisconsin – Brewers; Hobby Lobby
  50. Wyoming – Charter; Katy Perry
  51. Washington, DC – Patriots; Ferguson

Are you surprised by the searches that trended in your state? Did you notice any regional trends?

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Comments

Yuri
Mar 04, 2015

The largest russian community in the US is in Brooklyn, NY...

dragon city breeding
Mar 04, 2015

Hello there! I just want to offer you a big thumbs
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Richard
Mar 08, 2015

Tourism should be included in the list. One of the most searched keyword in the recent days. Now everybody are travelling viz. leisure or business.

Adam
Mar 09, 2015

If you threw out "Amazon Prime" why is it Colorado's #1?

Elisa Gabbert
Mar 10, 2015

From the methodology above: "You’ll see that some of the states in the map above feature one of the nationwide search trends. That’s because some states (such as Colorado) had no unique search trends."

sam
May 31, 2016

I live in Alabama, and her map show that we are basically ppl who want to be homegrown terrorists. We are not what the map above shows. so elisa, why don't you update your data for the state Alabama ok? Alabamians are good people. don't pin us as something we are not.

Andrew
Aug 18, 2017

Alabama with an ISIS flag over it is hilarious

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