For years, people have trusted Google to answer their most pressing, embarrassing, or silly questions, so much so that the company's name was added to American dictionaries as a verb in 2006.

This year, users often consulted the search engine for information on Bitcoin, new smartphones, and fidget spinners, according to Google's annual list of the most popular searches. The list, which was released Wednesday, breaks down results into categories like news, how to, and tech. To compile the ranking, Google looked at its trillions of searches, filtered out spam and repeats, and identified queries that had the largest uptick in traffic compared with the previous year.

Bitcoin was the second most-searched term in the global news category, ranking among natural disasters like Hurricane Irma and tragedies like the Las Vegas shooting. That's no surprise given the cryptocurrency's roller coaster ride this year. Bitcoin started the year priced below $1,000, and by last week, it had soared to $17,000.

But people didn't just want to understand bitcoin; they also wanted to learn how to buy it. Questions about purchasing the digital currency were the third most-searched term in the how-to category this year, along with searches on preparing for the solar eclipse and freezing your credit.

Apple's new iPhones also commanded people's curiosity. The iPhone 8 and X held the second and third spots respectively in the list of top searches, but also appeared as the top two queries in the consumer tech category. Users also had questions about the low tech fidget spinner toy, including how to make one.

Published on: Dec 13, 2017