2014's most googled search terms in the Netherlands

What did people in the Netherlands google in 2014? What were the hot topics, the rising stars, the big events of the year?

We take a look at the most googled and fastest growing search terms in the Netherlands since the start of 2014.

Most Googled search terms: no surprises

The most googled search terms for 2014 don’t generate many surprises, as many represent sites and services we use on a daily basis, with Facebook leading the way.

Dutch enterprises to make the top 10 were online second-hand market Marktplaats, newspaper De Telegraaf and the weather-forecasting favourite Buienradar. Dutch banks ING and Rabobank also made the top 10.

2014 most googled search terms in NL

1 Facebook
2 YouTube
3 Google
4 Marktplaats
5 Hotmail
6 Telegraaf
7 Buienradar
9 Gmail
10 Rabobank


2014's most googled images

The most googled images of 2014 paint a much more intriguing picture of our shared interests, with singer and actress Ariana Grande in first place, capturing the Netherlands’ collective attention by releasing her second studio album.

It seems Google Images is one of the Dutch go-to places for romance, greetings and festivities, with "love", "happy birthday" "gefeliciteerd", "bloemen" and "Sinterklaas" also ranking highly. The iPhone 6 and block-building game Minecraft were the only products to make the image top 10. The cryptic "einde" rounded off the list, literally. According to the Volkskrant, Google is unable to explain the popularity of the word.

2014 top image searches in NL

1 Ariana Grande
2 iPhone 6
3 love
4 happy birthday
5 gefeliciteerd
6 bloemen
7 voetbal
8 Sinterklaas
9 Minecraft
10 einde

Fastest-growing search terms of 2014

Sport and entertainment are hot topics when it comes to the fastest growing search terms of 2014. Specific events like the World Cup, the Olympics in Sochi and the first King’s Day all trended strongly. Other occurrences that garnered attention in the Netherlands were the unexpected death of comedian Robin Williams and the Eurovision win by Austrian drag queen Conchita Wurst.

2014 fastest growing search terms in NL

1 WK 2014
2 Utopia
3 iPhone 6
4 Olympische Spelen
5 Netflix
6 Robin Williams
7 Koningsdag 2014
8 Medaillespiegel
9 Flappy Bird
10 Conchita Wurst

Most googled "What is?"

What about the things that people most wanted to learn about in the Netherlands? Google’s listing of the most searched "Wat is...?" shows us what people were most curious about, or needed to know about, in 2014.

Learning about the disease behind the ebola outbreak ranked number one, while questions about money management ( "BIC", "Paypal", "bijtelling") also dominating the top 10. Mental health issues autism and borderline personality disorder were also a target of curiosity.

2014 top Dutch "Wat is?" search terms

1 Wat is ebola?
2 Wat is BIC?
3 Wat is Paypal?
4 Wat is autisme?
5 Wat is roaming?
6 Wat is bijtelling?
7 Wat is borderline?
8 Wat is Instagram?
9 Wat is Pinksteren?
10 Wat is Netflix?

Most googled "How does it work?"

The Dutch also revealed an inquisitiveness for matchmaking, technology and dry shampoo in Google’s top "Hoe werkt" search terms of 2014. UEFA’s Team Of The Year and the workings of Schiphol airport also stirred people’s interests. Baking paper also garnered a fair share of attention, possibly thanks to the Dutch TV cooking competition Heel Holland Bakt, according to the Volkskrant.

2014 top Dutch "Hoe werkt?" search terms

1 Hoe werkt Tinder?
2 Hoe werkt wifi?
3 Hoe werkt TOTY?
4 Hoe werkt hexadecimaal?
5 Hoe werkt Schiphol?
6 Hoe werkt bakpapier?
7 Hoe werkt temperaturen?
8 Hoe werkt sponsoring?
9 Hoe werkt droogshampoo?
10 Hoe werkt Payinfo?

Changes to Google user data

Google’s overview of Dutch search habits may be curtailed next year as the Dutch Data Protection Authority (CBP) cracks down on the search engine’s habit of storing user data, which is in breach of the CBP’s 2012 privacy policy and of Dutch law.

By March 2015 Google must meet requirements to clearly request permission from users to collect their data across all their platforms including gmail and YouTube, or face fines of up to 60.000 euros per day. Google is reluctant to comply, according to the Volkskrant, and has submitted alternative adjustments, which the CBP is now considering.

Sources: Volkskrant, Google Trends

Beatrice Clarke


Beatrice Clarke

Beatrice is a native Melbournian who moved to the Netherlands in 2009. With a background in independent publishing and fashion, Beatrice honed her understanding of Dutch language and culture working...

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